Orioles part with Balfour, cite medical reason

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm •  Published: December 20, 2013
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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles won't be closing a deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour.

Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, the Orioles said Friday that they weren't satisfied with the results of Balfour's exam.

"This is a deal that's not going to come together," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on a conference call.

Duquette declined to say what specifically concerned him about Balfour, who turns 36 later this month. Balfour had shoulder and elbow surgeries that kept him out of the majors in 2005 and 2006.

"The Orioles were disappointed we couldn't complete a contract with Grant Balfour," Duquette said.

Baltimore and Balfour agreed Tuesday to a $15 million, two-year contract that included $1 million in deferred payments, a deal dependent on the physical. Duquette said the team would not seek to restructure the agreement.

"We're going to turn our attention elsewhere for now," Duquette said.

The Orioles were hoping Balfour, who had 62 saves over the last two years for Oakland, would replace Jim Johnson. Baltimore traded Johnson, who had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013 to the Athletics on Dec. 2.

"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.

Levinson said Reds team physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek "reviewed the Orioles' medical report and advised that he is remarkably impressed that there has been little change in Grant's arm for almost 10 years."



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