Grant Balfour's deal with O's reportedly scotched

Leon Halip

I didn't understand why the A's traded for Jim Johnson, and I didn't understand how the O's were able to reportedly sign Grant Balfour for what seemed a bargain price. I didn't really understand any of it. Until now:

Free-agent closer Grant Balfour's deal with the Baltimore Orioles is in jeopardy of falling through due to a concern over his physical, according to ESPN's Tim Kurkjian.

A source familiar with the situation told ESPN, however, that the deal could be revived with a lesser contract. This scenario would be similar to the contract reduction accepted last winter from Boston by Mike Napoli after concerns about the then-free agent catcher/designated hitter caused the Red Sox to back away from their initial long-term offer.

Well, this still doesn't explain why the A's would happily trade for the Orioles' Jim Johnson, who's slated to make around $10 million next season. But it does explain why they let Balfour get away. We were wondering, since Balfour is essentially the same pitcher -- when healthy, that is -- as Johnson, and wound up costing significantly less money.

But now it seems quite possible that the Athletics were frightened away by Balfour's medicals.

I still don't understand why they'll happily pay Johnson $10 million, though. I just don't see the need, especially considering how many live arms they've got on the roster. I guess I'll never understand it, unless Johnson pitches like Craig Kimbrel or the A's flip him next summer for a couple of prospects. Paying $6 million for a few months of good short relief work and a Grade B+ prospect ... that might actually make some sense. That's the sort of thing they make movies about.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.