O’s Backed Off Balfour Deal Due To Knee, Wrist Concerns

Though two doctors voiced their confidence that Grant Balfour's shoulder was healthy after the Orioles backed out of their two-year agreement with the Australian closer, ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the O's actually called off the deal due to concerns over Balfour's knee and wrist (Twitter link).

The Orioles and Balfour had agreed to a two-year, $15MM contract in what looked to be a solid move for Baltimore — shedding Jim Johnson's salary and saving $3-4MM to turn the ninth inning over to Balfour. However, Baltimore backed off due to medical concerns, infuriating Balfour and his representatives at ACES. At the time, Balfour was said to be considering filing a grievance against the Orioles.

Since his deal with the Orioles fell through, Balfour has been connected to the Yankees, Rays and Giants, among other teams. He added in a radio appearance that he had at least one offer on the table. At this point, a healthy Balfour would be in the running for best reliever on the market, alongside Fernando Rodney. However, if there are medical concerns surrounding his knee and wrist that have flown under the radar to this point, he may have a difficult time matching that two-year, $15MM offer.


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