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Grant Balfour says he’s totally healthy, is mystified by the Orioles backing out

Dec 20, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT

Earlier today the Orioles backed out of two-year, $15 million deal with closer Grant Balfour, citing concerns about Balfour’s shoulder. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with Balfour today, and he says he’s 100%:

Balfour stopped short of criticizing the Orioles, saying that they must’ve just chosen to go in a different direction. Of course that’s just diplomacy in action. Balfour is likely pretty angry because any other team that signs him now is going to offer way less money in light of the Orioles’ misgivings. He’s now been thrust into make-good land.

  1. cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    OK, now my question from the previous post is answered. Denial. That’s always a good place to start.

  2. flamethrower101 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    “He’s now been thrust into make-good land.”

    Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A team could offer him a lower deal heavily incentive-laden so he can prove he’s healthy. Of course, on the O’s side, players could now say “Hey wait a minute, I’ve had injury problems in the past. Are they gonna low ball me?” and decide not to go there. O’s have had lots of trouble drawing in big name free agents in the past, even now despite their recent success. This little blip isn’t gonna help.

    • NatsLady - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      I think it is a bad and unfair thing.

      First, if I understand correctly, teams are not supposed to announce agreements until the medicals are cleared. Now, maybe this was just a bunch of leaks, but it sounded like an announcement to the rest of the world.

      Second, it’s hard to imagine Balfour is lying about his MRIs, since that is factual and easily checked–and certainly will be checked by the next team. Why should he have to enter into a make-good “pillow” contract when it has been years since his surgery? He has, in effect, already made good. He’s 36, right, and maybe thought the O’s contract would be his last go round.

      Now, not only is his health “suspect,” but he has wasted time with the Orioles organization while other teams have signed guys, so his market is smaller. No–not a good thing by any measure.

      • flamethrower101 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        I meant as a general thing in terms of him proving his health. But now there’s a report by Ken Rosenthal saying Balfour might file a grievance with the union against the O’s. If he does and wins, what happens? Do O’s get punished? And how much? And will Balfour then be forced to sign with a club he probably no longer wants to sign with?

    • eatitfanboy - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Really? A player who is completely healthy, has not missed an inning in years due to injury and has multiple doctors vouching for his health loses millions and will now have to prove to other clubs that he is healthy due to one team’s disingenuousness and you don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing?

  3. steelhammer92 - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    The Orioles must have had second thoughts when they witnessed Balfour repeatedly asking the examining doctor, “Why the **** you looking at me, man?”

    • riotpunch26 - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      “mate” not “man”

    • rawdog2013 - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:05 PM


      That made my day watching that playoff game and the announcer is like “whoooooaa”

  4. tonyc920 - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    I smell a lawsuit !!!!!

    • randomdigits - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      Good luck suing Angelos.

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