MLB rumors: If Orioles stay ‘in-house’, Tommy Hunter likely to be named closer

May 10, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter (29) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Orioles won 9-6 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Baltimore Orioles traded former closer Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics, they likely didn’t expect to run into such problems filling the void.

The team struggled in negotiations with Grant Balfour before finally coming to terms. But no more than a day after the two sides had agreed, the contract was voided as the Orioles deemed Balfour’s physical failed.

That lead to the O’s reportedly attempting to sign Fernando Rodney, but it’s been said the Orioles aren’t interested at Rodney at his current asking price. So what are they to do if they can’t get Rodney at a discount? Apparently stay in-house and hand the closing gig over to Tommy Hunter, this according to MASN who hints Hunter as the ‘clear favorite’ to assume the role:

Tommy Hunter is the clear favorite to replace Jim Johnson if the Orioles don’t sign Rodney. He made a career-high 68 appearances this season and notched his first four saves. His upper-90s fastball plays in the late innings.

Hunter finished the 2013 season with an impressive 2.81 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, Tommy Hunter

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