Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette will provide an update on closer Grant Balfour later this afternoon, and I’ll pass along his comments as soon as he’s done.
Team officials are meeting this morning to discuss Balfour, who was supposed to sign his two-year, $15 million contract yesterday. Concerns arose over the results of his physical, and the deal appears to be falling apart.
The Orioles could choose to void it and attempt to sign another closer. They could negotiate a new deal that would offer more protection if there are concerns over his right shoulder.
There could be more to the story beyond the shoulder. That’s what we’re trying to find out.
Keep in mind that the Orioles never confirmed the agreement and had no comment on the physical. Duquette will provide their first public comments this afternoon.
Manager Buck Showalter flew into Dulles International Airport last night after taping a hunting show with former Redskins running back John Riggins in Little Rock, Ark. He learned of the Balfour situation after his flight landed.
Showalter came back to appear at a press conference, tentatively scheduled for this morning, that didn’t take place. He’ll fly to Dallas on Saturday.
Showalter is attending today’s meeting with officials, as the Orioles figure out their next move with Balfour.
I need to find out when Riggins’ program airs, and on which network. They went duck hunting, standing waist-deep in freezing water following a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.
I guess the real wake-up call occurred after Showalter’s flight landed.
Update: While keeping in mind that things can change quickly, I still get the impression that the Balfour deal is in serious jeopardy, as I termed it last night.
I was asked earlier today on 105.7 The Fan whether the Orioles would seek another closer from outside the organization or promote one of their set-up men. They’re more likely to sign another free agent, with Fernando Rodney topping the list.
It’s the process of elimination. Rodney and Chris Perez are the two healthy unsigned closers who have produced varying levels of interest in the organization. And as I’ve stated, Perez isn’t a popular choice among some folks in the warehouse.
Rodney reportedly is seeking a multi-year deal worth at least $10 million per season. The man with the imaginary arrow may be aiming too high for the Orioles.
Meanwhile, I’m told that the show is called “Riggo on The Range” and airs on CSN each Saturday at 8:30 a.m.