Unless Fernando Rodney lowers his price, the Orioles apparently will stay in-house for their next closer.
With Brian Roberts no longer on the market, the Orioles apparently will stay in-house for their next second baseman.

Everything is subject to change, but they seem to be pointed in that direction.

Tommy Hunter is the clear favorite to replace Jim Johnson if the Orioles don't sign Rodney. He made a career-high 68 appearances this season and notched his first four saves. His upper-90s fastball plays in the late innings.

On the flip side, he's never been a closer. The Orioles can only speculate how he'd handle the role. Left-handers hit .294 with all 11 home runs off him this season. And he'd need to demonstrate that he could pitch on back-to-back-to-back nights.

Flipping back, they also experimented with Johnson and he saved 101 games in two seasons.

Hunter already has spoken to manager Buck Showalter about the possibility of closing. He wants to be a starter, but if you're going to stay in the bullpen, you may as well be the last guy holding the ball.
It tends to pay pretty well, too. Just ask Johnson and Rodney.

Grant Balfour would have made $15 million over two years if the Orioles hadn't backed away following his physical. Now, he could end up with the Rays, who are shopping Heath Bell, according to multiple industry sources.

No, he's not a closing option for the Orioles.

The Rays acquired Bell from the Diamondbacks on Dec. 3 in a three-team trade with the Reds. Now, they're gauging the market for him.