Orioles agree to two-year, $15 million deal with closer Balfour

December 17, 2013 | WNST Staff

After shipping their own closer to Oakland in a trade earlier this month, the Orioles have elected to bring the Athletics’ former ninth-inning man into the fold.

On Tuesday, Baltimore agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with 35-year-old pitcher Grant Balfour, who was a 2013 All Star and helped Oakland win the American League West in each of the last two seasons. The move comes less than three weeks after the Orioles dealt Jim Johnson to Oakland in what was viewed as a salary dump with the right-hander estimated to receive a $10 million salary in 2014, his final year of arbitration.

The deal is pending a physical.

Balfour had been seeking a three-year deal, but executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and the Orioles were uneasy with that contract length for a pitcher who will turn 36 at the end of the month. In addition to his time with Oakland, he has pitched for Minnesota, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay in his 10-year career.

The right-hander spent the last three years in Oakland, collecting 64 saves and posting a 2.53 earned run average in 199 1/3 innings pitched. He was 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and 38 saves in 41 opportunities