Apparently so, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports the Orioles are claiming issues with Tyler Colvin’s physical after signing the free agent outfielder to a major league deal last week.
Of course this comes on the heels of Baltimore’s controversial decision to back out of a two-year, $15 million contract agreement with reliever Grant Balfour in December. The Orioles cited concerns with Balfour’s wrist and knee. Balfour immediately claimed he was completely healthy. Two independent doctors backed him up after follow up exams were administered, but it's probably worth noting Balfour has not yet agreed to a new contract since the Orioles deal fell through.
Focusing in on Colvin, the Orioles have yet to specify their concern with his physical, but there's no doubting the 28-year-old veteran hasn't been a picture of health over the past few seasons.
In addition to a collapsed lung suffered when the splintered end of a broken bat struck him in the chest in September of 2010, Colvin has been slowed by back problems as recently as last season. In fact, he only appeared in 27 games for the Colorado Rockies, hitting a disappointing .160 in 78 plate appearances. The back issues likely played a big role in his down season, making it conceivable his condition hasn't improved to a point where Baltimore would feel comfortable finalizing a major league deal.
Still, it seems a little bit questionable based on Crasnick's follow up tweet to his original report.
One source says Colvin has been hitting, throwing & working out 5 days a week in Arizona and hasn't had any problems. #orioles
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 22, 2014
It will be interesting to hear a response from the Colvin camp, especially if Baltimore approaches them about backing out of the deal.
It's certainly the Orioles prerogative to be cautious when it comes to handing out major league deals, but they also have to be careful about the perception they're creating around the league.
We have to have reached the point where a FA would rather sign a minor league deal w any other team than a major league deal w the #Orioles.
— Josh Illes (@joshilles) January 23, 2014
Players will take opportunities anywhere they can find one. For now, though, any free agent with any type of injury history — like Grady Sizemore, who signed a major league deal with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday — might be a little hesitant to look at Baltimore for their next opportunity.
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