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Reports: Orioles set to sign Balfour

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After dealing their closer to Oakland, the Baltimore Orioles are set to add the Athletics' former closer.

Right-hander Grant Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday. The deal was not finalized, as Balfour still must pass a physical exam.

On Dec. 2, Baltimore dealt closer Jim Johnson to Oakland in exchange for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named, which became catcher David Freitas. The Orioles made the move to avoid an arbitration hearing with Johnson, who was expected to land a salary in excess of $10 million after leading the American League in saves each of the past two years.

Balfour, a 35-year-old Australian, became a closer for the first time in 2012, when he saved 24 games for Oakland. During an All-Star season in 2013, he converted 38 of 41 save chances while going 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 65 relief appearances.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Balfour will receive $7 million in 2014, $7 million in 2015, plus $1 million in deferred salary.

Balfour broke into the majors with the Minnesota Twins in 2001. He had stints with the Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays before joining Oakland in 2011. Over 10 major league seasons, he has a 28-17 record with 72 saves and a 3.27 ERA in 463 appearances.
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