Orioles looking at Fernando Rodney as Grant Balfour alternative

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Grant Balfour’s two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles is in jeopardy because the team didn’t like what it saw during his pre-signing physical exam and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re turning their attention to Fernando Rodney.

Any pursuit of Rodney would only happen if Balfour’s deal is wiped away, but Connolly suggests that’s “likely” to happen now.

Comparing their numbers over the past two seasons …

               BALFOUR     RODNEY
Innings            137        141
ERA               2.56       1.91
SO/9               9.4       10.1
BB/9               3.6        3.2
HR/9               0.7        0.3
AVG against       .182       .189
Save %            92.5       89.4

Pretty damn close. It’ll be interesting to see if the money ends up close too.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.