Grant Balfour deal in jeopardy

Updated: December 20, 2013, 2:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

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

However, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN the deal could be revived with a lesser contract. Such a scenario would be similar to the contract reduction accepted last winter from Boston by Mike Napoli after concerns about the then-free agent's health caused the Red Sox to back away from their initial long-term offer.

The Baltimore Sun reports that a Friday news conference to introduce Balfour was postponed.

Balfour and the Orioles on Tuesday were reported to have reached agreement on a two-year, $14 million deal that included deferred payments of $500,000 per year.

Balfour, a 35-year-old Australia native, went 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and 38 saves this past season with the Oakland Athletics. If he joins the Orioles, he's expected to take over as closer for Jim Johnson, who was traded to Oakland for second baseman Jemile Weeks and minor league catcher David Freitas earlier this month.

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