Former A's closer Grant Balfour will be trading places with Oakland's current closer, Jim Johnson, after agreeing to a reported two-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
MASNsports.com first reported that the 36-year-old Balfour is taking over for Johnson as the Orioles closer. Balfour's deal includes $7 million annually and $500,000 in deferred money each year for a total contract of $15 million.
The A's acquired Johnson from the Orioles on Dec. 2 in a deal for infielder Jemile Weeks and catcher David Freitas. Johnson led the major leagues with 101 saves the past two years and will earn $10 million in 2014 from Oakland.
Balfour saved 38 games for the AL West champion A's in 2013, compiling a 2.59 ERA and striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings.
The 30-year-old Johnson converted 50 of 59 save opportunities for Baltimore in 2013, going 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA. He was tied with Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the major leagues saves lead.