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Orioles Trade Star Closer Jim Johnson to Athletics

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert, File)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have acquired AL saves leader Jim Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named.

The teams announced the trade Monday night.

The two-time AL West champions found their closer to replace All-Star Grant Balfour, who became a free agent after the season.

While general manager Billy Beane had confidence he could fill the ninth-inning duties from within, he was able to find Balfour’s replacement via trade — a common December practice for the GM and low-budget club.

The 30-year-old Johnson converted 50 of 59 save opportunities in 2013, going 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA. He was tied with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the major leagues saves lead.

Johnson led the majors with 51 saves in 2012.


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