For a few weeks, the Baltimore Orioles and closer Grant Balfour haggled over tiny details in what would become a two-year, $15 million dollar contract.
The former Oakland Athletics fireman wanted a three-year contract, something the Orioles refused to give. The O’s eventually broke down and caved to Balfour’s demands, but then the closer wanted a vesting option. And then he wanted more money.
It seemed as if a deal wasn’t going to be completed but at the last moment, the two sides agreed upon the two-year contract and all was good. Or so we thought.
Just a day after the rumored signing had taken place, the Orioles became concerned with what they saw on Balfour’s physical. There was no mention of what triggered the concern, until this morning as the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly reports the Orioles are worried about the right shoulder of the volatile closer:
Acrdng to sources, issue w Balfour concerns right shoulder. Had surgery for rotator cuff/labrum tear in Sept 2005. No shoulder probs since
It’s a bit strange to have a holdup over an injury that is nearly a decade old, though possible wear and tear to the area may have triggered a few raised eyebrows.
How this affects the status of Balfour’s pending contract is unknown.