The Orioles were getting ready to introduce Grant Balfour. He was their replacement for Jim Johnson, an accomplished closer under contract for two years.
Now, it appears that the deal may be in jeopardy due to physical issues with Balfour’s shoulder.
If the Orioles can’t sign Balfour, where do they turn next?
The only two big-name closers still available are Chris Perez and Fernando Rodney.
The Orioles were noticeably cooler on those two than they were on Balfour, but they may have no choice, and if Balfour is off the market for them—and others—the price for Perez and Rodney may go up.
There are few other closers available, but Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan have injury issues and won’t be available to start the season, and former Oriole Kevin Gregg doesn’t interest them. Rafael Betancourt had Tommy John surgery, so he’s not a contender.