Orioles GM Dan Duquette has said he doesn’t think the deal with Balfour is going to happen. He said to reporters of the Baltimore Sun that the deal “will not come together” and that they “we’re going to turn their attention elsewhere.”
Duquette said the door is still open for a deal, but it is highly unlikely. Orioles have been fickle in the past when it comes to pitcher with shoulder issues, so the Orioles concerns over the shoulder surgery Balfour got back in 2005. He hasn’t had any shoulder issues since then, but if the orioles saw even the slightest issue with the shoulder, it could have been enough to scare them out of a deal.
They are expected to now pursue free agent closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney pitched to a 3.38 ERA last year, and closed the door on 38 saves, while blowing 8 saves.
Balfour hits the free agent market once again. He had a 2.59 ERA last year, and saved 38 games.
With this update, the Orioles grade from the previous article has been downgraded to a C+. If they do sign Rodney, it goes back up to a B+.
Stayed tuned as we follow this story line.
- Orioles looking at Fernando Rodney as Grant Balfour alternative (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Grant Balfour physical results delay contract with Orioles, per report (sbnation.com)