Orioles Decide Not to Sign Balfour After Physical Exam

The Baltimore Orioles said they won’t proceed with a preliminary agreement to sign free agent Grant Balfour following the All-Star closing pitcher’s medical examination.

“The deal’s not going to come together,” Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said on a conference call with reporters yesterday. “The Orioles were disappointed we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour.”

Baltimore and Balfour, who missed the 2005 and 2006 seasons after shoulder and elbow surgeries, on Dec. 15 agreed on a $15 million, two-year contract that included $1 million in deferred payments, the Associated Press said. The Orioles decided not to complete the deal because of concern about Balfour’s surgically repaired right shoulder, the Baltimore Sun reported.

“We’re going to turn our attention elsewhere,” Duquette said.

The Orioles wanted Balfour, an Australian who will be 36 Dec. 30, to replace Jim Johnson, who was traded to the Oakland Athletics on Dec. 2. Balfour had 62 saves over the past two years for Oakland, while Johnson had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013.

(Corrects to remove wrong first name in headline.)
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