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Grant Balfour’s deal with Orioles in “serious jeopardy” due to shoulder issue

Dec 19, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT

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The Orioles reportedly reached a two-year, $15 million deal with free agent closer Grant Balfour earlier this week, but the agreement has hit a snag.

According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Balfour’s deal with Baltimore is in serious jeopardy due to issues with his physical that “need to be resolved.” While the signing was supposed to be announced today, there’s now a chance that it won’t happen at all. Kubatko hears that official word one way or the other could come by tomorrow.

The nature of Balfour’s issue isn’t yet known. The 35-year-old didn’t spend any time on the disabled list this past season, but he did have knee surgery during spring training. He previously had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in 2006.

John Axford and Joaquin Benoit have both signed elsewhere this week, so if the Orioles are forced to move on from Balfour, they will likely consider names like Fernando Rodney and Chris Perez. Kubatko hears that they have checked the medical records on Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan, but neither pitcher is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the issue is with Balfour’s shoulder. As we mentioned above, he previously had surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff, but hasn’t had any problems since.

  1. uyf1950 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Uh oh better call Maaco, Balfour’s all banged up.

  2. jiggy3198 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    I am so tired of the freakin orioles doing nothing on the off season . In two years weiters will be with Boston while Davis will in Yankee pin stripes and we keep adding players I need to google to see who they are. Joke of organization

  3. chacochicken - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Dan Duquette: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
    Grant Balfour: No, it isn’t!
    DD: Well, what’s that then?
    Balfour: I’ve had worse.
    DD: You liar!
    Balfour: Come on, you pansy!

    • atmrover2013 - Dec 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      unfortunately all the ‘rage’ in the world, won’t fix an injury.

  4. jacobk621 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I’m in total agreement with jiggy , makes me sick year after year that angelos totally fails this organization and city and it’s fan base , it’s not like he ain’t got the resources , o’s will be doomed when Davis , manny and the others leave for greener pastures !!

    • oriolesdicksucker - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      Yup true dat

      • oriolesdicksucker - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        Angelo’s is a dumb bitch

    • DJ MC - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      You do realize that the Orioles extend their stars, right? They extended Markakis, Roberts (twice, actually), and Jones. Bedard is essentially the only homegrown star of the last fifteen years to leave without the team resigning him, and he was traded for Jones and Tillman.

      If you want to question the lack of movement on the free-agent front,that up to you. But when you make statements like yours, all it does is make you sound like an uninformed person, not a fan of the team.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Excellent points DJ. I am in agreement that the lack of quality free agent moves the past few years has been very frustrating, however we should all remember there isn’t much out there on the market at reasonable prices. Most of the half-way decent players this year are commanding absolutely ridiculous salaries. I believe the Orioles are still holding onto hope that their internal pitching prospects will step up and make the difference.

        By all appearances, the Orioles are trying to NOT overpay for players that will end up hindering their abilities to try to keep Wieters and Davis and Machado. They’ve already been in talks with Wieters to extend him, and Davis and Machado are on deck. Both Wieters and Davis are Boras clients, so you never know how it will play out, but I expect the Orioles to make significant offers to both Davis and Machado. I’m still not sold on if Wieters is worth the money he will likely command. He never has hit the way he was expected to, and his defense has fallen off the past two years. (He’s still one of the best defensive catchers in the game, but not as good as he was two years ago and that’s a troubling sign.)

        PS. Oriolesdicksucker. Please just take that classy name and leave this site never to return. Thank you.

      • psuorioles - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        I’m an O’s fan and love what DJ MC and scoutsaysweitersisabut and agree 100% with everything you say… It’s so annoying being an O’s fan with this fanbase; they want every high priced free agent and don’t want to trade any of their prospects for proven MLBers… They do the same thing with Flacco for the Ravens… the guy is the SB MVP and 50% of the fans can’t stand him for some reason, but I digress.

        I agree that it’s frustrating the O’s act like there is a salary cap in MLB and think they could manage a budget of $110 – $115 million, but lets take care of the guys in the org before going out and signing rediculous FA contracts.

  5. romoscollarbone - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Head, shoulders, knees and toes…..this guy has had a lot of surgeries.

  6. nymets4ever - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    beane knew something duquette didn’t….Lol

    • billybawl - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      I don’t think anyone who has watched Balfour regularly the past year would be shocked to learn he has shoulder issues. He seemed to have lost the strike zone as the season progressed. Looked like the O’s had gotten a relative bargain, shedding Johnson’s $10M contract for 2 years of Balfour at $15M, but you are correct: Beane may have been reluctant to commit to Balfour for 2 years, for reasons beyond price.

  7. pastabelly - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    They could get Papelbon pretty cheaply and the Phillies might even eat some of that ridiculous contract he has. Better to find out now than wait until later and actually write checks while Balfour is on the shelf (as the Sox did with Bailey and Hanrahan).

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      If the O’s were willing to pay ridiculous contracts, they would have kept Jim Johnson and wouldn’t be in this position.

  8. psousa1 - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    This means the front office needs some of that $ back to allocate elsewhere. Expect him to be with the O’s on a one year incentive laden deal.

    Just like the red sox with Napoli. They offered 3/36 mill retracted it due to the physical for a 1 year deal at 3 mill (but Napoli would earn the $13 mil with an incentive laden deal and in the end he won because the 2 year deal he just signed coupled with the 13 mill he got in 2013 exceeds the originally offered 36 mill).

    Balfour will be an Oriole. You’ll find shoulder issues on virtually ever pitcher in MLB

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