Grant Balfour Could File Grievance Against Orioles

7:38pm: The Rays are interested in Balfour, ESPN's Jim Bowden tweets. The Rays are on the lookout for a closer, and as noted below, a doctor for the Rays believes Balfour should have passed his physical, so the pairing of the two makes sense.

5:02pm: Balfour will discuss a grievance with the players' union, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). In a full column, Rosenthal reports that he spoke with two doctors who know Balfour well, both of whom say he is 100 percent fine. Rays team physician Koco Eaton was surprised that the deal wasn't completed. Eaton examined Balfour today and said it should have been "a no-brainer" for the Orioles to complete the contract, adding that Balfour's shoulder MRI today looked identical to the one he saw three years ago.

Rosenthal also spoke with Reds physician Timothy Kremcheck, who performed elbow and shoulder surgery on Balfour in the past. Said Kremcheck: "For a guy in his 30s who has pitched six or seven years since his rotator-cuff repair, his MRI on his shoulder looks remarkably good."

Balfour's agent, Seth Levinson, released a statement on the issue, stating plainly that "The only reasonable conclusion is that Grant is healthy and the Orioles at the last moment changed their minds." Levinson's full statement can be seen on Twitter, via ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

4:13pm: Balfour spoke with Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and told her that he is baffled that the Orioles backed off because he is "100 percent fine." He went on to tell Slusser that his MRIs — including the MRI taken of his right shoulder — look exactly the same as they did three years ago. Slusser quotes Balfour:

"I'm the All-Star pitcher I was last season. My shoulder is fine, everything is fine. I'm ready to come out there in the ninth inning, do what I do."

Balfour told Slusser that he isn't looking to bad-mouth anyone and made no negative comments about the Orioles. Slusser notes that a team stepping away from Balfour due to medical concerns could cost him millions of dollars (All links to Slusser's Twitter).

2:08pm: The Orioles will not sign Grant Balfour, executive vice president Dan Duquette told reporters, including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (Twitter link). The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly quotes Duquette (via Twitter) as saying: "We would never say never or close the door, but we're going to turn our attention elsewhere." Duquette said the Orioles could look to sign another free agent, trade for a closer or stay in-house for the closer, but they're not done adding pitching or other pieces (also via Connolly).

The Orioles agreed to terms with Balfour on a two-year, $15MM contract earlier this week, but problems with the physical placed the contract in jeopardy. With him out of the picture, the Orioles have reportedly begun to focus on Fernando Rodney, with whom they should be plenty familiar following two excellent season with the division rival Rays.


151 Responses to Grant Balfour Could File Grievance Against Orioles Leave a Reply

  1. Andy Todd 2 years ago

    So what exactly is wrong with him???

    • Matt Grant 2 years ago

      He rages so hard he hurt his shoulder

    • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

      Concerns about his physical… rumor has it that it is his shoulder, but we may never know officially.

    • James F 2 years ago

      There was an article yesterday on here about his throwing shoulder that he had surgery on back in 05.

    • thegoldenone 2 years ago

      They found the broken heart he had from not being an A anymore.

  2. Manny Being Manny 2 years ago

    Probably a blessing in disguise. Orioles have too many holes to use our limited spending money on a guy pitching 60 innings a year

    • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

      Except now the Orioles are going to spend that money on Fernando Rodney.

      • Manny Being Manny 2 years ago

        I really don’t understand why the Orioles are so obsessed with getting a closer. Its the most overrated job in sports… why would you pay a guy way more money to pitch the 9th then the 8th or 7th? Runs matter just as much in those innings (or even less in the 9th since you can often give up a run without it meaning anything).

        • ChrmCtyRnr 2 years ago

          Yup. What you said. Norris could close capably. I’m not in the pro-Hunter camp, though. His splits are ugly and he’s not good on consecutive days.

          • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

            Have you by any chance ever taken a look at Norris’s splits?

          • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

            Spoiler alert: They’re even uglier than Hunter’s.

          • ChrmCtyRnr 2 years ago

            I have. There’s a lot about his splits that are odd, though — for starters, he pitches better home than away for his career (despite those being two hitter-friendly ballparks). At one point, I tracked down his numbers the first time through a lineup, and they were pretty solid; in truth, i’m not sure if I saw his splits in innings 1-3, though. Perhaps they are just as horrendous.

          • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

            I’m talking righty-lefty splits.

            In 2013, opposite-handed players hit a robust .309/.381/.509 against Buddy.

            His first time through a lineup splits are decent enough, though, at .247/.321/.372, but it’s hard to say what to trust here–his pitch (count) 1-25 line against is a scary .302/.380/.469

        • joe shlablotnik 2 years ago

          Its the new oriole way.

          • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

            +1 just for the joe shlabotnik reference. Great screen name.

        • Max Chen 2 years ago

          Or why not just keep Jim Johnson and pay him, and not have to worry about signing a free agent? Seems like he was gonna get as much as Rodney would want anyways..

          • Steve from Bethesda 2 years ago

            Because last year Johnson led all mlb closers with 9 blown saves and 8 losses, even with the mlb’s top ranked defense behind him. Althugh he DID save a lot of games, his poor year was a huge reason why the Orioles (who led the majors in HR’s as well as in defense) did not make it into the playoffs as a wild-card team. But the arbitration system wold have rewarded JJ with a huge raise to about $10.8 million per year for all of those blown saves and losses. When approached by the Orioles about an extension, Johnson and his agent demanded between $45 and $50 million for a four year extension, which hence drove the Orioles to trade him to the A’s. The Phillies now realize how foolish it is to pay a closer that kind of $, so they are now trying to dump Papelbon in a trade and will have to eat a large amount of that foolish contract.

    • ChrmCtyRnr 2 years ago

      Not sure why this didn’t post the first time, but anyhow … if the O’s were willing to give Balfour $7.5mm/year and Floyd $10mm/year, why not just offer Garza something in the $16mm/year range over 3-4 years. I’m not a huge Garza fan (and I think that he looks better than he is just because he’s the best free agent pitcher on the market), but he’s not tied to draft pick compensation and he is at least a capable 2/3 MLB starter and young enough to be productive through a 3-4 year contract. O’Day could close to begin the season (although I probably like him more in that “fireman” rule in which Buck has used him), with Webb, Norris, Hunter, and Matusz working situationally in the 7/8th. Ultimately, I’d like to see Norris in a high-leverage role because he has two excellent pitches and some other decent ones, but that might be too big of a leap for Buck (who tends to be pretty conservative with these kinds of things).

      • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

        1. I’m pretty certain that $16M AAV over 3/4 years wouldn’t ink Garza, especially given how the FA starting pitching market has fleshed out this offseason.

        2. Angelos has been very outspoken against signing FA pitchers to more than a 2-year contract–which pretty much rules them out on any big FA starting pitcher ever again. FYI, The last FA starting pitcher the Orioles signed to more than a 2-year contract was Sidney Ponson in 2004 (3yr/$22.5M). You think Angelos is ready to re-think his policy after that disaster?

        3. Norris’s splits would make him a scary option as a closer. (They should make him a scary option as a starter, too–but that’s a different story).

        • ChrmCtyRnr 2 years ago

          Probably fair, all around. I don’t like Garza for the 5/$100 that he’s on record as wanting, but I’m not sure anybody does. It seems as though Garza is waiting to see what happens with Tanaka. Anyhow, what Garza is asking is absurd money for a guy who — objectively — is a 2/3 starter sporting a 3.88FIP/3.72xFIP and 2.2fWAR last year. 2011 is the outlier with Garza. I buy the contract thing, though. Perhaps they’ll be able to convince Burnett on a one-year deal.

          Not sold on your Norris conclusions, I think there are too many variables — for example, Norris predictably has better numbers the first time through the order and with the uptick in velocity he likely would get from working in relief makes him more attractive as a reliever than as a starter. We have data on Hunter as a reliever, we don’t have a meaningful sample size on Norris as a reliever, including splits. I’d like to see how effective he can be working in relief, because it seems we agree that he isn’t a great option in the rotation.

          • T.J. McFarland's Mustache 2 years ago

            He’s an awful option in the rotation–objectively. With his projected ~$8M salary in 2014, though, the only tenable option is to cross your fingers with him in the rotation.

            If it were possible to decide the situation independent of what Norris is going to earn, then I agree that he would be best used in high-leverage bullpen innings (not as a CLOSER–but truly the highest-leverage of situations, regardless of which inning that may be). However, because of his similar problems against opposite-handed batters as Hunter and (at least in 2013) O’Day, he is redundant in the Orioles bullpen. Maybe his splits subside working in relief, but probably not. The bullpen isn’t somewhere that L/R splits go away–it’s somewhere that you can hide them from the other team with match-ups.

  3. Nick Costanza 2 years ago

    The Orioles really lucked out here.

    • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

      Maybe… but the Red Sox and Mike Napoli might disagree with you.

      • Chase Johnston 2 years ago

        They lucked out because they got out of a bad contract, not because he’s not healthy. It’s insane to pay the most over rated position in baseball an exorbitant amount of money for 60 innings. The “closer mentality” is hilarious, look how many 8th inning guys stepped up in the past 2 years. Like, half the leagues best closers were 8th inning guys in the last few years.

        • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

          I don’t disagree with you at all: in some cases it can be worth it to pay a closer a lot, but not for most of them.. I was just making the case that, if the O’s still wanted Balfour, they might be able to still get him for less money and let him prove himself. However, my post was before it became known that Balfour was planning to file a grievance against the O’s, so scratch that idea.

  4. Patrick 2 years ago

    Get on this White Sox. They are going to surprise everyone next year with a dominant bullpen of Jones, Lindstrom, Downs, Webb, Belisario, Petricka, and Rienzo/Leesman as long relief

    • Matt Grant 2 years ago

      Oakland trumps that pen!

    • Jesus Ortiz 2 years ago

      They do have good pitching, but their offense is horrendous!

    • EightMileCats 2 years ago

      Pitching was never the WS issue. They’re gonna need a big step up from Garcia. A big debut for the 1b they signed… and some players rebounding from the Dunn/Ramirez camp.

  5. Matt Grant 2 years ago

    Come back to Oakland on an incentive deal. we then can package Johnson and someone for some prospects!

    • Jason Champion 2 years ago

      This

    • Andy Todd 2 years ago

      I do think this is a good idea, for some reason my comment and the response were both suspiciously deleted. O.o Is it possible that comments get deleted with too many thumbs down?

      I don’t think I said anything particularly offensive?? And I certainly wasn’t being sarcastic. Anyway, Balfour is getting ripped here. He’s a great pitcher, probably the greatest Australian player there is or ever was.

      • davengmusic 2 years ago

        What, Graeme Lloyd and Craig Shipley don’t do it for you?

  6. connfyoozed . 2 years ago

    Maybe they were outbid by the Rakuten Golden Eagles? 😉

  7. JaysFan1996 2 years ago

    Rays will sign him for 5 millions or something

  8. The_Porcupine 2 years ago

    Disaster!

    • Bleed_Orange 2 years ago

      It’s the Oriole way! We won’t do anything of consequence and screw up the minor things that we do

  9. Marky Mark 2 years ago

    Would love to see the Mets sign him for some bullpen insurance on a one year deal loaded with incentives.. Worst case his arm falls off and we’re in the same spot we were anyway

    • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

      I don’t think that there is any question that he will sign with someone at some point. A number of teams, Mets certainly included, could use his help.

      • Marky Mark 2 years ago

        He’s definitely the type of guy I’d take a risk on.. I could see why the Orioles wouldn’t want to commit two years considering their payroll constraints, but I could see a lot of teams bidding for one year of him

        • DarthBusey 2 years ago

          Agree. I’d prefer him as closer and Parnell back as setup.

          I’m sure Parnell wouldn’t, though.

  10. James F 2 years ago

    Well, my vote still goes to the Yankee’s signing him. Regardless of what they’ve been saying about Robertson. Their bullpen is a mess.

  11. Vivek 2 years ago

    A’s should bring him back on a 1 year, $3 mil deal.

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      Mariners should sign him to a 1 or two year contract to help Cano and the team including GM Jack Z. w/ the whole front office to get back into the playoffs as a wild card after a decade of missing out the post season.

  12. OaklandFan22 2 years ago

    Wouldn’t mind him back on the A’s with a 1 year deal.

  13. Thunda Pig 2 years ago

    haha, and people doubted Billy Beane.

    • Thunda Pig 2 years ago

      Man, a lot of angry orioles fan. They gave up a proven closer in al east. The o’s have a lot of holes(LF(not a lough fan) DH, 2b, SP, and still closer). If they chase Rodney and pay him 10 mill I don’t think the o’s have enough cash to fill there holes. DD is not improving the team and the already better teams are improving. Baltimore got fleeced in that deal and it will hurt them next season.

      • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

        I’m an Orioles fan and am not angry.

        I think short-sighted Orioles fans might be more an apt description of any “angry” fans.

        • Thunda Pig 2 years ago

          I meant angry orioles fans disliking my comment because billy beane trade looks very good now and o’s fans thought they fleeced the a’s. Btw I would be angry because DD continues to sign AAAA players instead of really improving the team. The O’s got worse and everyone in the division improved.

          • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

            Who thought the O’s fleeced the A’s? It was a fair trade. Duquette got what you could expect for an overpriced closer with low K rates.

            Also, this idea that everyone else in the division improved is pretty silly. The Yankees are treading water after losing Cano, Rivera + Granderson and adding McCann, Beltran + Ellsbury. The Rays are still waiting on a deal that won’t come on a Price trade. Red Sox lose Ellsbury and gain that much back? I don’t see it. Jays are not setting the world on fire.

            This year’s crop of FA’s is full of mediocrity and mediocrity is getting paid like stars. Just because you make a deal doesn’t make it good, nor does it mean you improved.

          • Thunda Pig 2 years ago

            Every comment and article I read thought the o’s got the better closer, weeks and Ryan Webb + cash for JJ. I think we have a different perspective on JJ. Yes he is over priced and has a low walk rate but he was essential for Baltimore and their close games. He is a proven closer in al east and Camden yards. As a fly ball pitcher he’ll do even better in oco. The sox are already better and yes lost ellsbury but improved rotation and bullpen. The rays only lost their closer which plays with fire. Improved catcher and every player is entering or in their prime. The jays improved and will have better luck. The Yankees lost Hughes thank god, pettittewho’s just average at this point, grandy who didn’t play. The lose of mo and cano will hurt but the additions any health will overcome that production for sure. That free agency “mediocrity” would definitely improve the o’s holes whether It is overpriced or not. The o’s are suppose to be a contender and in the offseason is time to improve and they are not!

          • tbslim 2 years ago

            I think you’re looking at the Rays backwards Oh. If Price stays, the Rays are a better team than the one that won 92 games a postseason spot last year. With a certain defensive and potentially offensive upgrade at catcher and the return of all of its first team position players and season ending rotation, the Rays will be a better team.
            Now add to that the subtraction of Luke Scott who was well liked but didn’t produce at DH and the addition of Delmon Young or Mark Reynolds as has been rumored.
            The subtraction of Roberto Hernandez/Fausto Carmona who came to TB cheap and did what he was paid to do, pitch a bunch of innings. Sadly most of his appearances were losses not all of which were his fault but many were.
            The subtraction of Fernando Rodney who blew a ton of saves in 2013 and contributed to the loss of a bunch of games that were in the bag. Great 2012 though. The O’s should give him a $10M contract as someone else suggested.
            And won’t it be sadly ironic if the Rays sign Balfour for $5M and he has another year like 2013. Keep thinking nobody in the AL East has gotten any better this offseason. We’ll talk again in September. Cheers.

          • GrayhawkAZ 2 years ago

            Wait the Rays got worse in the offseason? I actually think the Yankees will actually improve with the transactions in place providing continued health.. I think you are right with the Red Sox but there is only way to go when you are on top..

            You sir are very silly..

          • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

            When did I say the Rays got worse?

  14. GoFish 2 years ago

    Would the O’s look at Gausman in the closer role? He can throw some serious heat.

    • Bleed_Orange 2 years ago

      I’m guessing that has been discussed if he does not crack the rotation in spring training

    • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

      I don’t think they should. He needs to get on a starting schedule… Whether that’s in Baltimore or Norfolk.

  15. FamousGrouse 2 years ago

    I can hear the err…mound chatter from here.

  16. Breaking: O’s will not sign any major free-agent.

    • joe shlablotnik 2 years ago

      No… wise people in B more already know this to be fact

  17. faceforest 2 years ago

    Rays will probably be in contact with him. We have two eighth inning guys, possibly three with Bell. Balfour would be a solid closer for this team. And whoever the odd man out in the splits for the eighth would make a upgrade over Wright, who the Rays are looking to resign. Plus you throw in he has play off experience with the team, knows the staff. Good chance the Rays are in talks with him again. I’d love to see him back in a Tampa Bay uniform.

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      Mariners will also be interested in Balfour and also trade Tom Wilhelmsen, James Paxton or Taijuan Walker, Justin Smoak, John Hicks, and a player to be named either to the Rays for David Price or to the Orioles for Markakis and a player to be named.

  18. FS54 2 years ago

    Nationals should sign him.

  19. Bestlakersfan 2 years ago

    I’d LOVE for the Dodgers to sign him. Great replacement and upgrade from Belisario. Do it Ned!

  20. This seems kind of suspicious.

    • not_brooks 2 years ago

      The O’s physical is more in depth than any other team in the game.

      They failed Aaron Sele 10 years ago after agreeing to a 2-year deal, and he went on to throw 65 starts over the next two years with Seattle.

      • Karkat 2 years ago

        So by “in depth” we mean they have a history of fictionalizing problems?

        • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

          Yeah and it really helped with Wada let me tell you!

      • Steve from Bethesda 2 years ago

        It was actually a four year, $29 million agreement with the Orioles pending the physical. Once the Orioles discovered some concernng arm issues, they voided the deal. He went on to pitch well for the next two years for Seattle, but pitched badly for the 3rd and 4th years becasue of his arm.

        • Baloo 2 years ago

          Which makes you wonder if the O’s didn’t originally see something in his MRIs. He was injured those last two years. People like to forget about that.

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      The Dan Duquette Experience

      • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

        Have a feeling Jack Zduriencik will survive in Seattle longer than Duquette in Baltimore if Balfour signs w/ the Mariners.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

      It’s a disgrace is what it is!

  21. Andy Todd 2 years ago

    White Sox maybe? or perhaps Seattle?

    • charles stevens 2 years ago

      Why not Texas? I know they have Scheppers, Feliz, and Soria but if you can pick him up on a year deal well below value I believe he would be a great signing. It would be one very nasty bullpen especially if they somehow get Tanaka and move Ogando back to the pen. You could turn out the lights after the 5th inning.

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      Would be a good fit for both clubs since they’re both in need of a closer.

      • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

        Ignore the ERA, Farquhar was one of the best relievers in the MLB last season. He had 4 games where he gave up a lot of runs and besides that he was lights out. In the 2nd half he had 44 K’s in 32 innings and held batters to a .445 OPS. If he had pitched enough innings to qualify, his curveball would have made fangraphs’ list of the most unhittable pitches of the season. There’s no reason to blow millions of dollars on a “proven closer.”

  22. I somehow see him going AL East to rage all over the O’s. I don’t know if the Yankees will do it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take less to torment them throughout the year. I have nothing against the O’s, but if I was him…I would lol. Maybe I’m a jerk like that.

  23. charles stevens 2 years ago

    I think free agents should take their physical when they hit the market and the results should be sent to every team. Then teams could begin negotiations with the player and know exactly what they’re getting. As it stands the O’s have significantly hurt Balfour’s value and he will probably end up somewhere on a one year incentive based deal. I would not be scared of him and someone else will now get a steal.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      All medical records are subject to interpretation. Show 10 Dr get 10 opinions, maybe none of them the same. Not as cut and dried as you think, especially without a physical. Dr Andrews has gone on records as describing MRI’s as almost useless for diagnosing shoulder and elbow issues as there are too many false positives and false negatives. You need to do a physical exam..

      • TheRealRyan 2 years ago

        Very true about MRI’s and Dr opinions. I had a torn labrum and after the MRI, the Dr thought I had a tear in the top. Once he went in for the surgery, it turned out I had a tear from the front, down the bottom and around the back. The only place my labrum was still attached was at the top.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      O’s really really messed his value up. It reminds me what BoSox did to Napoli last offseason to get his salary and years from 3yrs $39M down to a 1yr $5M.

      I thought that was pretty cheezy of BoSox, but it worked for them to get his 2013 salary for cheap, and they even got him to resign with them for for 2014 and beyond. I guess a WS Ring can have a positive effect on resigning with a team.

      Wow, I think Balfour will have to end up settling for a 1yr fully incentive laden contract.

      I say Seattle jump all over this and give him a $1M base with an additional $7M in incentives to get his salary in 2014 to the $8M level that he desires “if” he performs and isn’t hurt…then with a $8M 2015 option with a 2016 vested option…or just another $8M 2016 team option. Of course have these 2015 and 2016 options fully incentive laden under the circumstances. Then he can still go after the grievance against the O’s.

      Just this this was pretty cheezy of the O’s. I say he ends up with Seattle now.

  24. danistheguy 2 years ago

    “I think I’ll sign in Baltimore,” said NO PITCHER EVER AGAIN. God this organization is a hot mess.

  25. Mike1L 2 years ago

    There has to be more to this story. If it’s really true, and his tests show the same results as three years ago, then he’s been unfairly tarred by the Orioles. Napoli at least had a serious condition, which fortunately didn’t worsen, and he ended up making more money in the long run. You see things like this, and the agents start whispering in their clients ears “look at other teams”

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Agreed, but I still think BoSox took advantage of the Napoli situation to get him down from a 3yr $39M deal, to a 1yr $5M deal. After a WS Ring though it didn’t affect his desire to not resign with BoSox.

  26. David Ross Jr. 2 years ago

    Grant Balfour never fit in wit BALT O’s anyways!!!…Balfour is a great competitor and a winner!!! LOL

  27. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Slusser notes that a team stepping away from Balfour due to medical concerns could cost him millions of dollars.
    This in my opinion is a major problem that the Orioles created here.
    I don’t know who is responsible for this! The only thing I can type and I typed this last night when I first read about this. I am extremely disappointed. I was sincerely looking forward to having Grant Balfour as the closer for the Orioles! He was a favorite of mine for the past few seasons and would have loved to had him on the team when was first a free agent after the 2010 season, except the O’s didn’t want to give a draft pick to the Rays. He was a fan favorite in Oakland. He had 40,000 fans going wild! Even this year, Tim McCarver made note of the fan support that Balfour got. He said Oakland fans loved him! So, I am just a complete loss just as Balfour is!

  28. skrockij89 2 years ago

    Time for the M’s to sign him now. Dirtbag move on the O’s part to agree on a contact and then back out when he’s clearly heathy.

    • Mitch Augustyn 2 years ago

      All these players contracts are pending physicals. Nothing is final till its done.

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      It will backfire not only the O’s but also the A’s if the Mariners can sign him to be the closer or set up man to Farquhar.

  29. Jim Low 2 years ago

    Low move by the Orioles if this is all true.. Looks like upper management truly has not changed one bit. Disgraceful

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

      On the MLB network TV

      Mitch Williams said from the highlights of 2013 Balfour was pitching pain free.
      John Hart said he wouldn’t want to be the Orioles right now.
      I am really upset by this!
      This is not good!

  30. CountOmar 2 years ago

    An eventful offseason just got a little more intriguing… As an A’s fan, I feel bad for him. He really was a fan-favorite (fans with weak stomachs or faint hearts excluded). Can anyone explain what Balfour can gain from filing a grievance?

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      I’m guessing the Orioles would have to pay the difference if he signs for less than the original 2/15 million? Correct me if i’m wrong.

      • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

        Why? It’s not like they had a signed contract.

        If you want to point fingers, point fingers at the whole system, including the agents, who always put out info through reporters that their guy just got how ever much money for however many years pending a physical… if there wasn’t such a clamoring to know every little thing, it would just be a deal that didn’t happen behind closed doors.

      • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

        Wonder if Jack Z. & the Mariners front office are a aware of Balfour availability in free agency that the team could sign as they can use some help in the bullpen w/ Farquhar becoming the set up man to Balfour.

  31. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Balfour will discuss a grievance with the players’ union
    I would love to personally serve the papers to Angelos and Duquette on Balfour’s behalf!

    • Buckweaver 2 years ago

      Anyone who serve Angelos with any legal documents would be soiling themselves. You don’t make over a billion dollars being a bad lawyer. That said I wish he would sell and just go away.

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

        Hahaha, I would just conjure up my inner Martin Luther and how he handled his 95 thesis. It wouldn’t be a problem!

    • Cuban Pete strikes again!

  32. Dynasty22 2 years ago

    I don’t recall the O’s saying it had anything to do with his arm.

    • “industry source” said shoulder. O’s did not get into specifics officially.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      They are not allowed to say under HIPPA laws. Pretty sure they told Balfour their concerns though, so that’s what Balfour is addressing

      • Dynasty22 2 years ago

        I may be wrong, but didn’t the Red Sox say Napoli had AVN publicly after the 3/39 deal fell through?

  33. Matt Talbert 2 years ago

    What the you know what? I mean Balfour seems like a nice enough guy. What could they have possibly found that scared them away? Cancer? Oh I forgot, maybe one Duquette or Angelos (my choice) is cancer.

    • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

      “I mean Balfour seems like a nice enough guy.”

      I guess you’re not Victor Martinez.

  34. Orsulakfan 2 years ago

    This feels like the Aaron Sele situation all over again. And this one will bite the O’s in the back too. O this team is such a frustrating one to follow…

    • Meh Sheep 2 years ago

      Aaaron Sele was a 4 year deal with the Orioles. People are mistakenly stating it was a 2 year deal because that is what he settled for in Seatttle. Keep in mind he was injured in the years that would have been years 3 and 4 with the Orioles.

  35. pft2 2 years ago

    I read in one of the sports medicine journals that 50% of pitchers who have never had surgery or symptoms have abnormal looking MRI,s. Balfour has had shoulder and elbow surgery, and if the MRI’s have not changed for 3 years that’s pretty good evidence he is ok. No conclusive of course, but unless he failed one of the non-imaging tests for his shoulder and elbow, there is no evidence he is not healthy.

    Maybe the Orioles found something else, but if so you would think Balfour would address that because word gets around the league pretty fast.

    Sounds like a classic case of buyer remorse and backing down before closing. Good luck signing another free agent, players will only consider the Orioles as a last resort now. Of course, maybe the Orioles have decided to go after Tanaka and want to keep the money free.

  36. BradyAnderson 2 years ago

    We are an embarrassment of an organization. Traded a closer/signed a closer to save a buck, then hoped to pull a Red Sox/Napoli (only fake) on him to try and save even more and back him into a corner with his options. Is signing and backing a player into a corner the new market inefficiency or something?

    This wreaks of a Duquette move based on how many conveniently timed “minor injuries” popped up last year during roster crunch times…always with tight lipped responses from the players. Hes showing how creative a GM he really is, dating back to the signing of that poor (Korean/japanese?) kid who was subsequently not signed, compensated, and banned from baseball in his country.

    Get Peter Angelos and DD in a room together, and boy can they do some underhanded stuff. FAs beware, and it was nice knowing you Davis and Wieters. Run while you can.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      I always liked the Duke with the Red Sox, except he was notorious for hurting players/coaches in various ways. The players all seemed to hate him. He is not a people person. I don’t think he is a mean guy but he will do whatever he needs to do if there is something in it for him or the team, and just does not see or feel the collateral damage to others. No empathy is probably the best way to describe him.

      • Yankees420 2 years ago

        A lack of empathy is a defining characteristic OF sociopaths…

  37. Spencer James 2 years ago

    I’d love for the Yanks to take a flyer on the guy. With him pitching against them maybe 9 times a year(if games are close), i’d love for him to stick it to their FO, no matter what team he’s on.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Yanks probably wish they had the Orioles Dr to veto the Pineda deal. Pineda like Balfour also had a sub-par 2nd half in the year before the trade/deal.

      • Spencer James 2 years ago

        Montero really hasn’t amounted to much as a big leaguer. If pineda can give #4-5 starter like numbers. I think its still a win for the Yanks with that trade

        • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

          Would be interesting if Montero was in a packaged trade w/ Wilhelmsen, Smoak or Ackley, Paxton or Walker, and a player to be named going to the O’s for Nick Markakis or the Rays for pitcher David Price (Smoak then gets traded to the
          Pirates for a minor league player as they need help at first base).

  38. Mike LaRose 2 years ago

    The most intriguing thing to me is that the Rays doctor looked at him…perhaps the Rays will swoop in and sign him?

    • EightMileCats 2 years ago

      Sure, if they can get him cheaper than 2 yr/15 mil.

      • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

        Might be able to know, the Rays owners do have money they just spend wisely but I think they need to keep Price in order to win a series

        • EightMileCats 2 years ago

          I understand, I just don’t see the Rays(and can’t remember the Rays ever) spending any significant money)on a reliever. Usually they take either someone people think can’t do the job anymore or bring up some unknown reliever and turn him into a stud closer.

          • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

            Very true and I could be reading too much into this but a bargain could be had

          • TheRealRyan 2 years ago

            They were able to pick up Rafael Soriano a few years ago after the Braves offered him arb, but were expecting him to decline. He accepted arb and then the Braves had to trade him away for nothing. The Rays paid him 7 or 8 million, but it was only for one year. Generally, the Rays are more concerned about years than salary, within reason.

    • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

      Same guy who diagnosed Machado with a torn ACL on field at the end of the season…

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Many Drs for MLB teams are pretty much free lancers in that they don’t only work for the team.

      • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

        Right, but they are them selves up for malpractice by lying so it’s intriguing

  39. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    Out of all the player to mess with why did Angelos pick the Ragen Aussie

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      I watched the Russel Crowe South Park episode last night where hes “Fighting all around the world” and now you got that song back in my head haha. Ahh Aussies lol

  40. CountOmar 2 years ago

    It’d be interesting if Balfour signs with an AL East team… The Balfour Rage would reach new heights against the O’s.

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      Or will be interesting if he sign w/ an AL West team like the Mariners that need a closer like Balfour.

  41. MrSativa 2 years ago

    hahahahahahahahahaha. Love it – so his competitors say he is fine? Sign him.

  42. pft2 2 years ago

    Rethinking my position here. Balfour did have a poor 2nd half which could suggest something was up.

    Also, his Dr’s insistence that his MRI’s are evidence he is ok runs counter to Dr Andrews insistence that MRI’s are unreliable, and that one must perform the physical tests.

    I would suggest the Orioles and Balfour agree to use Dr Andrews or some other respected 3rd party for arbitration.

    • Mike LaRose 2 years ago

      Not related to your post but Dr. Andrews showed up on the E! Show “Total Divas” and it was awesome

  43. mikefichera 2 years ago

    “For a guy in his 30s who has pitched six or seven years since his rotator-cuff repair, his MRI on his shoulder looks remarkably good.”

    Certainly doesn’t sound good when you preface it with that statement.

  44. Jesse Rodriguez 2 years ago

    This only makes Baltimore look bad, Balfour is a hell of a pitcher.

  45. Ryan 2 years ago

    I expect that there will be a grievance filed in this case

    • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

      And it will be dismissed.

      • GrayhawkAZ 2 years ago

        Ha the only thing to be dismissed is a free agent going to Baltimore… You don’t think there will be a ripple effect… Balfour’s agent will never ever deal with them again and that is horrible business..

        • Meh Sheep 2 years ago

          The agents job is to get the best deal for their client even if it is in Baltimore. There is no way an agent refuses to talk to one particular team.

        • OhthePossibilities 2 years ago

          1 – There’s no signed contract and they did not reveal what their concern was, so they did not violate anything. There’s no basis for any compensation.

          2 – This isn’t the first time this has happened. Aaron Sele had a 4 year deal with the O’s pending a physical and they didn’t sign him because of medical concerns. He pitched a good season the next year, then a mediocre one, and then started breaking down physically the following year, so their concerns were validated.

          3 – If the agent will never deal with them again, he’s telling his clients that he will not be looking to get them the best offer. If he refuses to talk to a team, he’s losing leverage against other teams. If he won’t talk to them, and they and one other club is interested in his client, the other club has no reason to give in to demands for a better contract.

          The only people who should be afraid to negotiate with Baltimore are people who are in jeopardy of not passing their physical.

  46. Marinersforever71 2 years ago

    Jack Z. & the Seattle Mariners ought to bring in Balfour as the new closer as he would fit well pitching home games at Safeco Field to provide veteran leadership in the bullpen. O’s can go after Fernado Rodney as their new closer, while the Rays acquire Tom Wilhelmsen (new closer or set up man), Dustin Ackley, James Paxton or Taijuan Walker (replace him by drafting Carlos Rodon of NC State or Jeff Hoffman of East Carolina if either will be available when the Mariners are on the clock in the first round of 2014 MLB Draft that can replace Paxton/Walker), Justin Smoak, and John Hicks for David Price. Smoak then goes to the Pirates for a pitcher in a separate trade. Felix Hernandez/Price/Kuma/Ramirez/Paxton or Walker for 2014 Opening Day pitching rotation.

  47. psabella 2 years ago

    Why does everyone assume the Orioles are wrong? Just like it was a shock to Napoli when the red sox backed out because of his hip even though his play never suffered. Maybe Balfour has something going on that may not show up for a year or so. The Orioles are right to trust their doctors and not the doctors for the A’s, Ray, Reds, or whoever because it will be the Orioles and not those other teams signing the check if Balfour gets hurt. While Balfour and his agent can talk up a storm the Orioles cannot due to HIPAA rules about privacy.

    • connfyoozed . 2 years ago

      I do agree that, just because the Rays’ doctor says that Balfour should have passes a physical, does not mean that the Orioles are wrong here. Every team does their physical similarly… but not the same. Every team has its own doctors, and they are not always going to agree. And you point is also taken that we should be taking anything Balfour’s agent says with the appropriate grain of salt: he is paid to spin Balfour positively.

  48. Justin N 2 years ago

    come back to tampa Grant

  49. bigmike04 2 years ago

    Do Baltimore really need spend big bucks on closer, no just get a reliever for half of the price & make him your closer..

  50. Damon Bowman 2 years ago

    Many of you are overlooking one thing in your bashing of the O’s walking away from the deal with Balfour. Billy Beane and the Athletics also walked away from him. While it was obvious he was going to be non-tendered, they probably could have signed him for the same amount they are going to pay Jim Johnson. Remember that Beane didn’t want Balfour for the long term — that could be for any number of reasons, both financial and medical. We don’t know for certain, but don’t forget the A’s let him go to market and had the first shot at retaining his services and did not.

  51. Spencer James 2 years ago

    Got Eeeeeeem!

  52. David Ross Jr. 2 years ago

    Yep Jelly Nate, You got me!!!

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