Will it take three-year deal for Balfour to join Orioles?

Will it take three-year deal for Balfour to join Orioles?
December 13, 2013, 8:45 am
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Grant Balfour isn’t with the Orioles. As of yet, he isn’t with anyone else.

Is Balfour worth a possible three-year contract? Is any reliever?

It may take a three-year deal for the Orioles to attract Balfour. It isn’t clear who the other teams in the Balfour scrum are, but if a team offers him a two-year contract with a third year vesting deal, it is a dangerous area.

Friday morning, the Colorado Rockies agreed to a three-year deal with a situational left-hander the Orioles are quite familiar with, Boone Logan.

Logan is a 29-year-old left-hander with two career saves and gives up more than a hit an inning—and he’s worth three years?

Balfour has an advantage over Joaquin Benoit and Fernando Rodney, two other closers who are the same age. He hasn’t pitched as much. The late bloomer has aged well. In his last four years, he hasn’t had a WHIP over 1.2, and in his career averages far less than a hit an inning and a home run per nine innings. Balfour also strikes out more than a batter per inning.

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There’s no questioning his bona fides, but the possibility of three years for a reliever seems pretty steep.

If Balfour goes elsewhere, then the Orioles may have to settle for John Axford. Benoit reportedly has two solid offers elsewhere. There hasn’t been as much buzz around Rodney or Chris Perez, two other possible fallbacks.

NOTE: On Thursday, the Orioles added minor league catcher David Freitas. He was the player to be named later from Oakland in the Jim Johnson-Jemile Weeks deal. Freitas batted .231 with 10 home runs and 90 RBIs for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento last year.