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Grant Balfour says he’s “100 percent healthy” after Orioles’ “failed” physical cost him $3 million

Jan 24, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

balfour Getty Images

Grant Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Orioles in mid-December before they claimed he failed a physical exam and nixed the deal.

More than a month later Balfour signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Rays and at the press conference yesterday he repeatedly stressed that he’s “100 percent healthy” while implying that the Orioles did him dirty:

I’ve had an eventful offseason to say the least. That was a bit of a stressful thing to see that go down knowing that I knew I was perfectly healthy. I did take a physical [for the Rays], and I passed with flying colors, apparently.

What happened there in Baltimore is in the past. It was something that, to be honest with you, I had other offers on the table and other teams telling me that I didn’t have to take a physical because they believed in my medicals and everything that they’d heard, that I didn’t even have to go and take a physical with them.

I’m totally healthy–100 percent healthy–and you’ll see that when I take the field April 1 here. I’m looking forward to it.

Balfour ultimately landed in a good spot, with a good team and a multi-year contract at age 37, but the Orioles backing out of the original deal cost him $3 million and for a pitcher getting what may be his last big payday that’s probably pretty tough to swallow.

It should be interesting when he takes the mound against Baltimore for the first time.

  1. fanofevilempire - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    The way things have gone for the O’s he may be better off failing their physical.

  2. nymets4ever - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    That’s the real reason he left money on the table to choose the Rays over the Mets, so he’ll have more opportunities to stick it to the Orioles.

    • NatsLady - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      (sigh). Yeah. Nats only play the Os 4 times a year vs. 19 for the Rays.

      • dlgdc - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        The Orioles apparently believe they will not have to face Balfour too many times. They think he will be injured. We shall see…

  3. louhudson23 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    There is no reason to believe that the O’s action with regards to Balfour had anything to do with his health.They crab walked on the money.Period. Including the the “source” referred to by Buster Olney in which it was declared that his knee and wrist were of a concern, there is no evidence of a negative medical evaluation having been issued by any Doctor for any team,including the Orioles.

  4. tuberippin - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    I don’t know that you can say his little fiasco with Baltimore cost him $3 million. It was already posted on here that the Mets out-bid the Rays for his services, and Balfour chose proximity to home over cold cash. No figures were mentioned, but it was most likely $13-15mil over two, comparable to what he would have gotten in Baltimore.

  5. dhalb34 - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    As an A’s fan I’m happy to see Balfour land with a good team. Appreciate all he did for us, and I’m gonna miss his fiery attitude on the mound. Can’t wait for him to blow the Orioles out of the water in the ninth.

  6. jmcneely1982 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    I remember when the Reds signed him when he was healing from TJ surgery. I really wish they would have held on to him.

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