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O's, closer Balfour reportedly agree to two-year deal

O's, closer Balfour reportedly agree to two-year deal

O's, closer Balfour reportedly agree to two-year deal

The Orioles made their first big addition of the offseason on Tuesday, reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract with closer Grant Balfour. The club did not confirm the deal.

Balfour will receive $14 million over two years, plus $500,000 deferred each year, according to MASN.

The 35-year-old Balfour has been one of the league's top closers since taking over ninth-inning duties for the A's in August 2012. He thrived last year, going 38-for-41 in save situations while posting a 2.59 ERA in 65 appearances.

Balfour has a 3.27 ERA over a 10-year career spent with the Twins, Brewers, Rays and A's.

Balfour replaces Jim Johnson, who saved 101 games the past two years for the Orioles before being traded to Oakland on Dec. 3. Johnson likely will earn around $10 million next year in arbitration after posting consecutive seasons of at least 50 saves.

Trading Johnson gave the Orioles financial flexibility in signing Balfour, as well as more payroll space as they search for other pieces.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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