|By Kevin Ward via Wikimedia Commons|
Like the Mets, the Baltimore Orioles pursued Balfour and even agreed to a deal with him. Due to concerns about his shoulder, they took the offer off of the table and were still looking for a closer.
Now, the Mets, Orioles and two others are in pursuit of right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodney, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. No deal is believed to be close as of now. Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com says that the Orioles' interest in Rodney is only "lukewarm." Here is a scouting report on Rodney from Michael Baron of Mets Blog:
"Like most closers, Rodney mainly has just two pitches – a hard fastball and change-up, but his awkward delivery can make his change-up much more deceptive to opposing hitters. He was mostly erratic during his time with the Tigers and Angels, but he found himself while pitching under Joe Maddon and Jim Hickey with the Rays, and was incredible in 2012 thanks to only walking 15 batters in 66 2/3 innings. His walks crept back up in 2013, especially during the first half when he issued 25 walks in only 40 1/3 innings, but he pitched much better in the second half last year."
Adding an experienced closer like Rodney would be a good move for both teams, but he is not a long-term option, as he is 36-years-old. Last season with the Rays, Rodney went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA and a 82/36 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Follow Robert on Twitter @RobertMurrayMLB