Latest On The Orioles’ Bullpen Search

The Orioles have been linked to many relievers in recent weeks, but talks regarding the O's and Grant Balfour picked up the most steam. Roch Kubatko of reports (via Twitter) that Balfour wants to sign with the Orioles, but Baltimore won't budge from its current two-year offer, and Balfour is holding out for a third guaranteed year.

Last week, it was reported that three teams had made two-year offers to Balfour, with one team possibly including a vesting option. That team, reportedly, was not the Orioles, though a vesting option would seem to be a fitting compromise given the demands of each side. Baltimore already traded Jim Johnson and his projected $10.8MM salary, making it somewhat surprising to see the O's pursuing one of the better free agent closers on the market.

Another popular name on the free agent front in the past week has been John Axford, who inked a one-year deal with the Indians this weekend and is controllable for three more years via arbitration. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (also on Twitter) that the O's never made an offer to Axford, however, which Encina takes as a sign that the Orioles continue to be focused on Balfour as their new closer.

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9 Comments on "Latest On The Orioles’ Bullpen Search"

1 year 8 months ago

Most Oriole fans want Balfour to sign including me!
Balfour wants to come to Baltimore!
Duquette do us all a favor and sign the man!
Whatever it takes!

Honey Badger GM
1 year 8 months ago

Honestly, the money that we might give to Balfour could have been used for better players, but at this point in the offseason where a lot of the top players signed early (with the O’s getting none of them), I think we should give in slightly to get him. I don’t think that a third year/option should be a sticking point for the O’s. Even if the money isn’t worth it at the end of the contract, he could still be a middle reliever type, and it’s not like 7.5 million would be all like crippling to the O’s, especially when compared to the Roberts and Markakis contracts. Who knows, we might even be able to trade him later on. Also, I would like us to sign Garza or Santana (not happening), or the next best thing on the market right now, AJ Burnett.

1 year 8 months ago


Carl Langley
1 year 8 months ago

Just sign Kevin Gregg and get it over with. Put us out of our misery now instead of Februrary.

1 year 8 months ago

Dan would never take back someone whom he let go. To do so would imply he shouldn’t have let the player go in the first place.
Now gonna happen. Dan never makes mistakes.

1 year 8 months ago

I am over the Os offseason. Lets just play baseball and see if some of the young pitchers can take yet another step forward.

1 year 8 months ago

I don’t understand why the Orioles dumped “proven closer” Jim Johnson if they’re just going to invest a comparable amount of money in “proven closer” Grant Balfour. Actually, I think I do: I think Duquette underestimated the market on relievers and other players he thought he could sign, and now he’s coming around to fixing the issue. I hope I am wrong and the strategy is more coherent than that, but I have my doubts.

1 year 8 months ago

So strange. Better off keeping Johnson than going after Balfour.

Jack Ball
1 year 8 months ago

Letting the Indians take Axford like that ….. Not Too Bright! The AL East is quite familier with Balfour from when he was with Tampa. They don’t know Axford at all.