One thing the MLB Free Agent market isn’t lacking on is closers. There are still several closers on the open market that could be had for any range of prices. Just like anything else the higher a team is willing to pay the more they can guarantee themselves a better proven closer. The Baltimore Orioles went and traded their closer Jim Johnson who had been one of the best in the game. Now they are apparently willing to stretch their payroll and go for Grant Balfour.
Balfour isn’t the only closer in play for the O’s but he is the first one they have exchanged figures with if reports are to be believed. The questionable thing here is that Johnson was traded mostly because he had a $10.8 projected salary coming through arbitration. Balfour is considered one of the top closers left on the market so would likely command something similar.
It appears that the Orioles are willing to stretch their professed closer amount of money if they are indeed serious about getting Balfour on their staff this season. That could be very good news for the O’s who tend to lean more towards offense when they badly need pitching upgrades and have for a while.
Also it should be noted that the Orioles are still hanging onto contact with John Axford and Chris Perez. What type of closer they get will clearly depend on the amount they are willing to pay for his services. Balfour would be a best case scenario for them if they complete the deal.