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The Grant Balfour-Orioles deal is dead

Dec 20, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

It has been flatlining since yesterday, but after heroic efforts were undertaken, Roch Kubatko calls it:


The signing was supposed to be announced today, but after the Orioles found an issue with Balfour’s shoulder it was all but over. Balfour previously had surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff, but hasn’t had any problems since. The Orioles, however, were still worried.

Now the question turns to what the O’s do for a closer. Fernando Rodney is probably the biggest name out there.

  1. jehzsa - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    As a Rays fan, I would encourage the Orioles to go for Rodney.

    • indaburg - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      I concur.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        Jose Valverde might be available. You might even get a two-fer for him and Delmon Young (again). Pie AND cake.

      • indaburg - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        Pie and bread pudding, you mean.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        Cookies and ice cream?

      • indaburg - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        Yummy. :-)

  2. flamethrower101 - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    If they were still worried, that’s one thing. But I find it unbelievable to think that shoulder problems from ’05 would cause the O’s to not want to sign him. Just more evidence that owner Peter Angelos is unwilling to spend.

    Of course, we don’t know. It’s very possible he reinjured himself and never even knew it until now, and that is what caused the O’s to back off. We don’t know, and we won’t until somebody from either party says something publicly.

    • billybawl - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      The deal looked pretty good on paper for the O’s, so I doubt this is a case of Angelos being unwilling to spend.

      • flamethrower101 - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Which means they had to have found a NEW injury in the physical for this to have happened. I can understand them being concerned because of his shoulder woes in the past – those are even worse than elbow issues – but I have a hard time imagining issues from eight years ago that haven’t popped up since was the reason for this deal falling apart

  3. cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    So if you are Balfour, and his agent, next stop Dr. Andrews, or do you try to explain your way out of this decision by the O’s?

    • billybawl - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Balfour is what, 36? He’s going to try to play is my guess.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      There’ll be some cussin’ first.

  4. pipkin42 - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Paying for closers is a fool’s game, anyway. Let’s see what Tommy Hunter can do.

  5. billybawl - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    There’s a decent chance that a lingering injury is what caused Balfour to quickly agree to a 2-year deal instead of the 3-year deal it was presumed he’d be seeking. But maybe it looked worse to the O’s once they saw the pictures.

    • flamethrower101 - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      It only looks bad IMO if it’s found out that the O’s were citing to his ’05 injury as a reason for calling the deal off. If it’s a new injury, then good on the O’s for not getting into it. Still, it’s the O’s and with Peter Angelo’s reputation of not spending money this’ll be scrutinized by a lot of people, fairly or not.

  6. dinofrank60 - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Dang, can’t Duquette say it a little differently? He makes it sound like Balfour had a disease.
    But if Balfour tried something underhanded, let us know! (Though what could he have done?)

  7. phillyupperdecker - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Who says no to this deal? Dom Brown and Jonathan Papelbon for Chris Tillman

    • psuorioles - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:20 PM


    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    • kramden17 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Why in God’s green earth would the Phillies make a dumb deal like that??? An all-star young, controlled OF and a premier closer, for a journeyman? Dumb, dumb.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        Errrm, Chris Tillman is no journeyman sir. He’s the best starter the O’s have and is a solid number 2 on most any team in the league and is under team control through 2017.

        Palpelbon is a 10 million dollar closer. The Orioles JUST traded away a 10 million dollar closer (Who is a better player), because it’s ridiculously stupid to pay 10+ million dollars for a closer.

        Dom Brown is good, but not that good.

  8. uyf1950 - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I wonder if this is a case where Brian Cashman could be circling the near dead carcass of the closer Grant Balfour with a cheap one year deal and a bunch of incentives based on games and games finished. Very little risk and potentially big reward in an area of need for the Yankees.

    • larrymahnken - Dec 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      I can’t see Balfour signing up to be a setup man if there’s a closer role out there. And I’m sure there’s one out there.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        I’m thinking more like sharing closer duties with Robertson.

  9. pbastille - Dec 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Actually, Saltalamacchia is the biggest name out there. He’s just not available. Or a closer. But it is the biggest name.

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