Orioles won't be signing Balfour, Duquette says

Orioles won't be signing Balfour, Duquette says
December 20, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Oct 10, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning in game five of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at O.co Coliseum. The Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-0.

(Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Orioles won’t be signing Grant Balfour. The club reached an agreement on a two-year, $15 million contract earlier this week pending a medical exam, but the results did not satisfy the Orioles.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette declined to specify the exact nature of the issue, but Balfour has had problems with his right shoulder in the past.

“The Orioles were disappointed we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour,” Duquette said in a conference call with reporters on Friday.

“This is a deal that’s not going to come together.”

Duquette said that the team was not going to try and negotiate a contract with different terms.

“We’re going to turn our attention elsewhere for now,” he said. “The Orioles are moving on from this situation.”

[RELATED: Patton to miss first 25 games of 2014]

The Orioles will look to fill the closer’s role, left vacant with the Dec. 2 trade of Jim Johnson to Oakland. Duquette said that the Orioles could sign another free agent, make a trade or look to a player already in the organization.

Duquette said that Johnson, who had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013, did not come through the organization as a closer. Perhaps they’ll pick someone already on hand.

“Who knows? We may do the same thing this year,” Duquette said. “The good news is we have other options to look at.”

The Orioles have been known as a team that puts players through
strict medical exams.

“These rom team vary from team to team and from doctor to doctor,” Duquette said.
Duquette said the Orioles were thorough in their evaluation of Balfour. He said the club did its “due diligence” on Balfour.

“The club was not satisfied with the results,” Duquette said.

Duquette said the team was “disappointed to learn of Troy Patton’s suspension,” but other than offering support for MLB’s drug policy, he declined specific comment.

The Orioles will continue to look for additional help in pitching and hitting, he said.

“We’d love to check those boxes off,” Duquette said. “We’re not done yet.”