The Grant Balfour-Orioles deal is dead


It has been flatlining since yesterday, but after heroic efforts were undertaken, Roch Kubatko calls it:


The signing was supposed to be announced today, but after the Orioles found an issue with Balfour’s shoulder it was all but over. Balfour previously had surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff, but hasn’t had any problems since. The Orioles, however, were still worried.

Now the question turns to what the O’s do for a closer. Fernando Rodney is probably the biggest name out there.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.