The Baltimore Orioles are going to look elsewhere for a new closer, as the team was not impressed with All-Star closer Grant Balfour’s physical results.
After Balfour reached a preliminary deal with the Orioles, the team said Friday that they weren’t satisfied with the results of the pitcher’s physical eam.
“This is a deal that’s not going to come together,” said Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. “The Orioles were disappointed we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour.”
Duquette would not say what specifically was the problem with Balfour’s physical. The 35-year-old Balfour had elbow and shoulder surgeries in 2005 and 2006.
The deal was originally set for a two-year, $15 million contract with $1 million deferred, pending on the physical. Duquette says the team will not look to restructure the agreement.
“We’re going to look elsewhere for now,” the Orioles’ vice president said.
“Grant is completely healthy and that was told to us today by Dr. Koco Eaton, a well-respected club physician,” said Seth Levinson, one of Balfour’s agents. ”The only reasonable conclusion is that Grant is healthy and the Orioles at the last moment changed their minds.”
The Orioles will look at other options, including free agents Chris Perez and Fernando Rodney. Perez has 123 saves over the last four seasons, while Rodney has 85 in the last two years.
Orioles fans should definitely look for the team to make at least one more move before the season starts. According to Duquette, “we’re not done yet.”
[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]