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Orioles won’t sign Balfour

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POSTED December 20, 2013 11:52 p.m.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles won’t be closing a deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour.

Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, the Orioles said Friday that they weren’t satisfied with the results of Balfour’s exam.

“This is a deal that’s not going to come together,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on a conference call.

Duquette declined to say what specifically concerned him about Balfour, who turns 36 later this month. Balfour had shoulder and elbow surgeries that kept him out of the majors in 2005 and 2006.

“The Orioles were disappointed we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour,” Duquette said.

Baltimore and Balfour came to a reported two-year $15 million agreement with $1 million deferred on Tuesday, depending on the physical. Duquette said the team would not seek to restructure the agreement.

The Orioles were hoping Balfour, who had 62 saves over the last two years for Oakland, would replace Jim Johnson. Baltimore traded Johnson, who had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013 to the Athletics on Dec. 2.

“Grant is completely healthy and that was told to us today by Dr. Koco Eaton, a well-respected club physician,” said Seth Levinson, one of Balfour’s agents.



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