The Padres are interested in acquiring Athletics closer Andrew Bailey to replace Heath Bell, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). It remains likely that the A's will trade Bailey, Olney writes.
The Rangers, Mets, Blue Jays, Mariners and Reds are also interested in Bailey, one of Billy Beane's main offseason trade chips. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 3.24 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 41 2/3 innings in 2011 after recovering a forearm strain that sidelined him early in the season. MLBTR projects a $3.5MM salary for Bailey in 2012.
Luke Gregerson, Ernesto Frieri and Josh Spence are projected to return to a Padres bullpen that also included Bell, Mike Adams and Chad Qualls six months ago. San Diego obtains two compensatory draft picks for losing Bell, who agreed to a three-year, $27MM deal with the Marlins yesterday.