In the wake of the Orioles’ deal with free-agent closer Grant Balfour falling apart, apparently over the club’s medical report on his pitching shoulder, there appear to several second opinions floating around.
One of them comes from Koco Eaton, the Rays team physician, who examined Balfour on Friday and had treated him when the pitcher was with Tampa Bay from 2007 to 2010.
“The MRI that I did on him today looked exactly the same as the MRI I did three years ago,” Eaton told FoxSports.com. “It did not look normal compared to a person who does not play baseball for a living. But for someone who plays baseball for a living, it looked normal. There are abnormalities on the MRI as there are on every single baseball player’s.
[RELATED: Balfour saga makes for sad day in Birdland]
“I would say with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that his shoulder would not be a problem going forward any more than it was a problem over the past three years. And there was no problem over the past three years.”
Reds team physician Timothy Kremcheck operated on Balfour’s shoulder in 2005 and discussed him with the Orioles on Friday. Kremcheck told Fox Sports: “For a guy in his 30s who has pitched six or seven years since his rotator-cuff repair, his MRI on his shoulder looks remarkably good. I have not seen the [actual] MRI. But when I saw the report, I was like, ‘Whoa, it looks pretty good.’”
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the O’s didn’t look at Balfour’s MRI from three years ago, “as is customary.”
Meanwhile, The Sun reported that maybe the Balfour-Orioles story isn’t over, citing a source that said the club might end up signing him “once cooler heads — and a cooler free-agent market — prevail.”