Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter went on MLB Network Radio today to discuss his club’s outlook for 2014.
Among the many topics that came up were the fact that as of now, the Orioles are without a named closer. After trading Jim Johnson, a 50+ saves closer the last two years, to the Athletics for Jemile Weeks, the O’s turned their attention to the A’s former closer, Grant Balfour. They offered him a two-year, $15 million deal, but that fell through due to red flags in Balfour’s medical report surrounding his knee and wrist. Baltimore does not look to be in the market for much else, and as Showalter stated, it looks as if his club is ready to move forward as is, without signing a free agent closer.
Until I hear differently from Dan [Duquette, GM], I’m looking like its from within.
He also stated that right-handed side-arm reliever Darren O’Day will not be considered for the 9th inning role. O’Day, who has found himself amongst the league’s elite relievers after struggling with the Rangers, has posted a 12-4 record with a 2.23 ERA in 129 IP during his two years in Baltimore. He is signed through this season with a $4.25 million club option for 2015 ($400,000 buyout) after signing an extension last year.
With O’Day out of the mix, hard-throwing right hander Tommy Hunter looks to be the lead candidate to close heading into Spring Training.