By Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly
The Baltmore Sun
5:41 PM EST, December 12, 2013
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.
The Orioles have competition in the quest to sign Grant Balfour. They are one of three teams who have made the 35-year-old free-agent closer a two-year offer, according to an industry source.
Among the three offers Balfour is considering, one includes a vesting option for a third year. That option is not from the Orioles, according to a source.
The Orioles appear focused on finding a resolution one way or another with Balfour before making offers to other closing options, but the years of the deal seem to be the sticking point, according to a source.
Balfour has recorded 62 total saves in the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics, including 38 last season.
If the Orioles can’t come to an agreement with Balfour, they could turn to ex-St. Louis Cardinals reliever John Axford or former Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez as less costly options.
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