The possibility of the Orioles opening spring training with Tommy Hunter as the team's closer is becoming more real by the day. Once the team dealt 50-save closer Jim Johnson to Oakland, the club saw Hunter as a fallback option. But now he's turning into much more of a possibility.
Grant Balfour's two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles is now in major jeopardy, after team doctors expressed concern with Balfour's right shoulder during his physical, according to industry sources.
The Orioles resumed talks with prospective free agents and possible trade partners during the first official day of the winter meetings Monday, and executive vice president Dan Duquette remains confident he will return to Baltimore with a new acquisition.
Considering the caliber of lineups the Orioles were going to face on their six-game road trip to Detroit and Texas, manager Buck Showalter wanted to make sure his bullpen — the lifeblood of the team's success this season — was protected.
Long a solid center fielder and one of baseball's best baserunners, Curtis Granderson has turned into a beast at the plate since working with New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long to rework his swing.