Report: Orioles eyeing Rodney with Balfour deal falling apart

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Orioles are looking at Fernando Rodney now that their deal with Grant Balfour may fall apart.
The Orioles are looking at Fernando Rodney now that their deal with Grant Balfour may fall apart. (USATSI)

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In the wake of Grant Balfour's physical issue, the Orioles have turned their attention to free agent closer Fernando Rodney according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The two sides talked earlier this offseason but things didn't get very far.

The O's and Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract earlier this week. However, something -- reportedly a shoulder issue -- popped up during the pre-signing physical and it appears the deal may fall apart. Shoulder problems are always scary for pitchers, especially soon-to-be 36-year-old pitchers.

Rodney, 36, is the best closer left on the free agent market. He saved 85 games for the Rays over the last two seasons and had a 3.38 ERA (113 ERA+) in 66 2/3 innings in 2013. The Mariners are among the teams that have expressed interest in him in recent weeks.

The Orioles traded closer Jim Johnson to the Athletics earlier this offseason in a salary dump move. He was projected to earn roughly $11 million in 2014.

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