October 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Tigers 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Grant Balfour Baffled By Deal, No Deal With Baltimore Orioles

Former Oakland Athletics closer Grant Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week, but the O’s have now backed away from the deal.

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette confirmed Friday the deal with Balfour is off. (h/t CBSSports.com) According to MASN Sports on Thursday, an issue cropped up on Balfour’s physical regarding the 36-year-old’s shoulder, prompting the Orioles to back away from the deal.

For his part, Balfour says he has no idea what the issue could be (per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, via Twitter):

 

 

Balfour sat out missed all of the 2005 season after Tommy John surgery and was limited to nine minor-league appearances in 2006 after having surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff.

But he’s had no further issues with the shoulder.

However, his splits last year tell an interesting tale that might have been a precursor to a problem.

Before the All-Star break last season, Balfour posted a 1.98 ERA and 1.018 WHIP in 36.1 innings and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.10.

After the break, his ERA was 3.42, his WHIP was 1.443 and the K/BB ratio plummeted to 1.82, as he walked 17 men in just 26.1 innings.

He was particularly iffy in August, allowing six earned runs in 10.2 innings over 11 appearances.

But he was unscored upon in three postseason outings against the Tigers in the American League Division Series, allowing just one walk and no hits.

Balfour pitched three seasons for the A’s after signing with Oakland as a free agent in January 2011.

Tags: Grant Balfour Oakland Athletics

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