Though it wasn't actually a trade, the Athletics and Orioles have swapped closers this offseason. A few weeks ago, the Orioles dealt All-Star closer Jim Johnson to Oakland and now the Orioles have agreed to sign All-Star closer Grant Balfour.
The two-year deal is pending a physical and is worth $14 million with $500,000 deferred each year, confirms Jon Heyman, as first reported by MASN.com. So Balfour will make $7 million in each of the next two seasons with a million in deferred dollars, meaning it's a $15 million deal in full.
Balfour, 35, took over as A's closer in 2012 and excelled in the role last season. He successfully converted 38 of 41 save attempts with a 2.59 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings. In the past two seasons, he has 62 saves and only five blown saves.