May 12, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter (29) delivers a pitch during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Tommy Hunter leading candidate for Baltimore Orioles closer?

The Baltimore Orioles thought they had found themselves a closer in Grant Balfour, but an abnormal physical all but ended that dream.

Balfour had his contract voided and the Orioles were without a closer.

They dabbled around in free agency talking to fellow closers like Fernando Rodney, but the price was always too high and it appears the Orioles are more than fine using an in-house option to replace former (now traded) closer Jim Johnson.

According to multiple sources, the Orioles have made it known that they are comfortable with in-house options at closer and are instead attempting to acquire at least one veteran starting pitcher.

Expected to be given first opportunity will be former starter – now converted reliever, Tommy Hunter.

Hunter has plenty of experience pitching late in games, though, hasn’t had many closing opportunities. That said – his hard throwing style meshes well with what many teams desire in a fireman and his productive 2013 season currently has him in the lead for opportunities.

Darren O’Day and Ryan Webb are likely next in line if Hunter falters.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Tommy Hunter

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