Grant Balfour

Grant Balfour‘s deal with the Orioles has officially fallen apart. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

The Ausie closer tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’s “100 percent fine” and is confused by the Orioles decision not to sign him. “I’m the All-Star pitcher I was last season,” Balfour says. “My shoulder is fine, everything is fine. I’m ready to come out there in the ninth inning, do what I do.”

Seth Levinson, Balfour’s agent shares similar views to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “The only reasonable conclusion is that Grant is healthy and the Orioles at the last moment changed their minds.”’s Ken Rosenthal shares the opinion of two doctors who apparently know Balfour well, both confirm the player and agent’s opinions. “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,” Reds physician Timothy Kremcheck says.

For now, Fernando Rodney appears to be the Orioles target at closer — until they find something wrong with him at the last second. We’ll likely never find out what happened, but I’m surprised to see the two sides not at least find some common ground after the physical.

Let’s try stay positive, maybe the Orioles are planning to spending on a free agent starter (a true need) rather than Balfour. At this point, who knows though.

Quotes compiled by Steve Adams of