Orioles expected to turn focus to ex-Rays closer Fernando Rodney, source says

With uncertainty around agreement with Grant Balfour, club could move

December 20, 2013|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

With the decision on Grant Balfour in limbo, the Orioles are expected to turn their sights to former Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney, according to an industry source.

The Orioles had several discussions with Rodney before Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal, but nothing progressed at that time.

Now, Rodney, who saved 85 of 95 opportunities in the past two seasons for the Rays, appears to be atop the Orioles’ radar to fill the closer spot if the Orioles don’t complete their deal with Balfour. The excitable, 36-year-old Rodney has yet to sign a deal this winter. He is represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, which represents several Orioles, including Manny Machado.

The Orioles also could consider Chris Perez, a 28-year-old right-hander who saved 25 games with the Cleveland Indians in 2013. Perez is represented by CAA and Nez Balelo, who brokered Adam Jones’ extension in 2012 with the Orioles.

Balfour’s agreement with the Orioles seems to be in jeopardy after the club canceled a news conference scheduled for Friday after reviewing Balfour’s physical.

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