From Ken Rosenthal: The Orioles are close to wrapping up a two-year deal with Grant Balfour, who I assume will replace Jim Johnson at closer. Susan Slusser reports from Oakland that Balfour had a bigger offer on the table but preferred the Orioles. Baltimore has been rumored to be in on Balfour for quite a while.
With Balfour off the table, the top late-inning relievers on the free agent market seem to be Joaquin Benoit and Fernando Rodney, each of whom could be a strong setup man or ninth-inning alternative. Jesse Crain is also still out there, an intriguing — and relatively young — setup man, who’s been awfully good the past four years, but who also hurt his shoulder this season. There’s some risk involved with any shoulder issue, but Crain might be a less costly alternative to Benoit and Rodney.
Even with Matt Thornton on board to replace Boone Logan, the Yankees still have a need for a late-inning reliever. Guys like Andrew Bailey, Chris Perez and Jose Veras are also out there and could be options at the right price.