ESPN’s Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) has just reported that the issues that caused the Orioles to call off their deal with closer Grant Balfour are related to his wrist and knee.
Earlier in the off season, the Orioles were reported to have a two-year, $15 million deal in place with the Australian, pending a physical. The deal was later called off by Baltimore, who claimed that they saw some issues with Balfour’s physical. Balfour had two other certified team doctors conduct physicals on him and both came back completely normal, according to both doctors, inciting much confusion and anger by Balfour and many surrounding the situation. Balfour had Tommy John surgery in 2005, but both doctors he visited after the Orioles reported nothing abnormal about his shoulder.
Many had assumed that Balfour would not be long without a job after the Orioles’ deal fell through, but these new findings could change the market and demand for the 36-year old. Balfour’s career has spanned ten seasons, but his stand out work came with the Oakland Athletics for the past three years. While there, Grant compiled 64 saves over 199.1 IP while posting a 2.53 ERA and 1.043 WHIP.