The Baltimore Orioles and Grant Balfour have agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal, according to reports. Balfour has been a reliable closer for the Oakland Athletics over the past few years. Balfour should fill the hole that was created when former closer Jim Johnson was dealt to Oakland.
The 36-year-old to be went 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 2013, while converting 38 of his 41 save opportunities. Over the past two years, Balfour has converted 62 of 67 opportunities, while pitching to an excellent 2.56 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. In that time, Balfour has had a 150 ERA+ (154 in 2012, 145 in 2013). Since his first season over 50 IP (2008 with Rays), Balfour has gone 22-14 with a 2.74 ERA in 380.1 innings pitched (383 games). He has been an excellent reliever since becoming a workhorse out of the 'pen.
The Orioles picked a very nice reliever to fill the void that Johnson left after being traded. Although Balfour is 36 (in 2014), a two-year deal is definitely what you would like to sign him too. Good job filling their hole by the Orioles.