Orioles Trade Star Closer Jim Johnson to Athletics
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.