September 18, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Angels defeated the Athletics 5-4 in 11 innings. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

MLB rumors: Orioles holding firm on offer to Grant Balfour


The Baltimore Orioles are still in need of a closer – a closer they thought they may have found in Grant Balfour.

Both the Orioles and Balfour seemingly were making progress towards a deal earlier in the week, but talks have stalled, likely due to Balfour’s request that he’d prefer the team include a third year in his deal. That’s something the Orioles have refused to do and don’t appear interested in doing:

Source: 3rd year is still sticking point in #Orioles‘ talks w/ Balfour. O’s holding to 2-year offer, willing 2 explore other closing options

Balfour, one of the better closers in baseball has drawn heavy interest and shouldn’t have trouble landing another offer if he and the Orioles struggle to find a middle ground.

If the team can’t come to terms with Balfour, other possible options include former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford, who lost the role due to his struggles. Axford, in a small sample size, looked solid towards the end of the season with the St. Louis Cardinals and would come at a cheaper price than Balfour, though, would obviously be a bigger risk.

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