Red Sox Links: Bailey, Sweeney, Starting Pitchers

The Red Sox officially replaced Jonathan Papelbon earlier today, acquiring Andrew Bailey (and Ryan Sweeney) from the Athletics for Josh Reddick and two prospects. Let's round up the latest from Boston, starting with GM Ben Cherington's conference call following today's trade, courtesy of's Rob Bradford

  • "We’re going to continue to work," said Cherington about the team's pursuit of starting pitching. "We’re actively considering and looking at starting pitching options also, but we haven’t found one yet where we feel like the acquisition cost is the right one. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come. It just hasn’t come yet."
  • Cherington said they are comfortable with Bailey's injury history, which includes Tommy John surgery several years ago and another minor elbow procedure in 2010. Talks about the right-hander started way back during the season, when they were looking for bullpen help during the summer.
  • Sweeney will be in the right field mix, as will Mike Aviles and Darnell McDonald. Cherington said they've tried to acquire Sweeney in the past.
  • Jon Heyman of says the trade "looks like a steal" for the Red Sox, calling it the finest moment in Cherington's young career as GM.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports echoes what Cherington said in the conference call, that the Sox are exploring all avenues for rotation help (Twitter link)

Full Story | 77 Comments | Categories: Boston Red Sox

77 Responses to Red Sox Links: Bailey, Sweeney, Starting Pitchers Leave a Reply

  1. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    this trade looks like the kind of trade a guy like jon heyman would think is a steal. doesn’t know anything about reddick (let alone alcantra & head) and knows bailey is a magical ~*closer*~ with a shiny career ERA. obviously it must be a heist!

    in reality, oakland did pretty well. meanwhile the three players boston gave up were more or less expendable for them, given the presence of kalish, a half dozen 3B options, and adrian gonzalez

    solid trade that serves the needs of both teams

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      Well, they acquired a seasoned OF who can bat what Reddick did (and even better considering Sweeney was better at a pitcher’s park and he’s moving to a hitter’s heaven that can increase stat lines eaaasily).

      The Sox also acquired a MLB closer.

      And they only had to give up a bench player and two pitchers nowhere close to the majors.

      So, yeah, it was a solid trade to both teams, LMAO.

      • commenter3346 4 years ago

        They have up an outfielder (Reddick), one pitching prospect (Alcantara) & a third base prospect (Head). 

        And as someone who isn’t a Reddick fan, Reddick > Sweeney.

        • aricollins 4 years ago

          Reddick’s upside is certainly greater than Sweeney’s, but one season, half in the minors, isn’t enough to convince me that Reddick will ever have Sweeney’s batting eye.

          Reddick could be an excellent get if he takes a step forward, but I think he’s as likely to take a step back.

          • commenter3346 4 years ago

            Very true, which is why I had no problem with them trading him away. I like Kalish a lot better, despite his injuries anyway.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        never in his career has sweeney hit as well as reddick did last year – and that’s using park-adjusted stats

        “they only had to give up a bench player and two pitchers nowhere close to the majors.”

        ohhh, i see what’s going on here. well i do agree that if you know nothing about the players involved, this looks lopsided

        • I really dont know how many times I need to write that Sweeney’s knees are chronic and his career in the bigs is nearing the end. Reddick has and will continue to demolish Sweeneys ceiling as a player. If Bailey throws under 40 innings in any year in a Boston uni and Reddick has a few 3-4 WAR seasons, the A’s win this trade. If they use the cash freed up in this deal to get Soler then this move was a very good one and if the 2 prospects pan out then the A’s REALLY won this deal. Boston gets their closer and he’s cheap too. They gave up teenagers with high ceilings but they have so many 3B Head wont be missed and pitching prospects are what they are. 

          As an A’s fan I simply love this deal. When I first heard it I was disappointed but after looking at it with the cash freed up and the prospects and Reddick, who was Boston’s #4 best prospect at the start of 2011, this really is a nice haul.

          • Casor_Greener 4 years ago

            Nobody puts Reddick in 3-4 WAR category but people who are determined to make it look like Beane got a good deal.

      • Hey Boston fans, Sweeney’s last 180 games in MLB have netted him a massive WAR of 1.0. His career in the bigs is toast and Beane wanted to get rid of him, thats the point of not grabbing any of Bostons top 10 prospects in a Bailey deal. It would be a minor miracle if Boston got any use of him, he’s been an absolute nonfactor since his awesome 09 season. Trading Sweeney in this deal is nothing but a salary dump by Beane. I’d say theres a 75% chance he is released at some point in 2012.

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Totally agree.  I think this is a good trade for both sides and anyone who has seen me post knows I usually bash these trades. 

      I really like Reddick’s upside and Bailey’s current ability.  Honestly, Reddick is my favorite player in the trade.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        he’s been an incredibly streaky player his entire pro career, but the deciding factor him will be discipline. when he is taking walks and driving good pitches, he actually does have “all-star” potential

        i don’t expect him to fulfill that potential completely, but i do expect him to be a valuable everyday RFer. and what better place  to go than oakland if what you need to work on is plate discipline? no pressure to swing early in that org

        • Exactly, Reddick getting 600 PA and playing everyday without the pressure of Kalish or Drew being there or just the general Boston “You must immediately be great or we will hate you” pressure, he really does have a chance to show everyone what he’s got. As of now that’s a 3 WAR player even with all that, without it, he has a chance to excel and take his time to learn more and expand his game. 

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      I think Miles is the loss here, Reddick will have issues with the strike zone and Sweeny will be a God send replacement to mcDonald so they can send him along his merry way.. It should work out and they have enough people to play 3B in the system already.

      Alcantra is the only one nobody is sure about and he is years away.

      • melonis_rex 4 years ago

        Sorry to say, but McDonald and the Sweeney of now are a wash.

      • Sweeney is not better than McDonald. He was simply a salary dump, that’s why Beane didn’t get any of Bostons top 10 prospects for Bailey, he won this deal via another way, getting rid of the overpaid and chronically hurt Sweeney.

    • How does it serve Reddick? The Red Sox banished him to Oakland!
      The A’s have not a chance competing in the AL West.

      It’s a shame the A’s used to have some of the Best Fans out there.
      Come to think of it, the Orioles used to as well.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        josh reddick isn’t a team

        oakland isn’t a hitter’s paradise, but hey that lineup ought to make him feel good about himself

  2. m4r1n3r 4 years ago

    Wonder how Papelbums over the top stare down will work on another team.

  3. Lastings 4 years ago

    I’ve liked Beane’s deals this offseason thus far, but this one has me scratching my head. Feel like Boston stole this one…

    • aricollins 4 years ago

      It’s a pretty good deal if Reddick’s improved batting eye last year improves still further. He could be an above-average regular, and cheap. Not a bad idea to take a chance on a cheap upside play if you’re the As.

  4. The centerpiece of the trade is not Sweeney ..   So dont compare Sweeney and Reddick ..         Sweeney can replace Reddick.. Ok, But Bailey is much better and have many experience .. So .. You like or not .. The red sox win and steal the A’s .. easily

    • No, Beane hosed Boston by taking Sweeney and Bailey is hurt all the time. He freed up cash to throw at Soler and got an everyday OFer and 2 high ceiling teenagers. This was simply a “need” move by Boston who gave up too much and had to take the soon-to-be-released Sweeney on as part of the bargain. Even if both are totally healthy, Reddick will have a higher WAR than Bailey no matter what as closers dont have more than 2 WAR too often, and Reddicks a shoo-in for 3+. The A’s got better with this and Boston filled a need. Getting better > Filling a need. A’s won.

  5. tdot32 4 years ago

    wow. A’s dropped the ball.

  6. dc21892 4 years ago

    I like the deal Boston made today. Oakland did okay though.

  7. jedicouncil 4 years ago

    thats all it took to get bailey……what a steal for the sox

  8. Red_Line_9 4 years ago

    Sweeney is an excellent defender when he’s healthy and able to play.  He was a good addition to the Bailey acquisition for the Red Sox. 

  9. Dustroia15 4 years ago

    Sox still need a C, RF and #3 and/or 8th inning pitcher if they are going to compete for a title with the Yanks, Phillies, Angels, Rangers, etc.

    • The Sox are fine at catcher with Salty and Shoppach with Lavarnway waiting in the wings in Pawtucket.

      Sox’s top 3 in the rotation is set with Lester. Beckett & Buchholz.  (#4 & #5 are the question marks)

      The Sox are also fine in the 8th and 9th innings with Bailey & Melancon (and potentially Bard in the mix there too if he’s not the solution for one of the spots in the rotation).

    • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

      How so? We got Lavarnway/Salty/Shoppach for C. Without a quality RF we have a top 3 offense that can compete with anyone. And we have a quality candidate in Kalish who could potentially win it out of ST. The 8th inning will be handled by either Melancon, Aceves, Bard, or even Bailey depending on how things shake out. If Bard makes the rotation its a split between Aceves (Doubt him and Bard make rotation) & melancon. If Bard doesn’t make it IMO Bard will be given a chance to close ahead of Bailey. Bard has the higher celing and better stuff. . Rangers and Yanks don’t have as quality a front three as the Sox, Angels, or Phillies do. The Phillies and Angels don’t have as good an offsense as the Sox, Yanks, or Rangers do. Angels and Phillies pen are weaker than Sox, Yanks, and Rangers. We can compete with any of those teams.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      What are you talking about?  Catcher is taken care of by Salty and Shoppach (and/or Lavarnway), #3 is Buchholz, and Melancon is the 8th inning pitcher.  They could use a RF but they have internal options that would be more than good enough for a team with Boston’s offense, and they could use another starting pitcher but they have internal options for that too, if it comes down to it.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      whoa, bro…

      Red Sox have the best catching depth in MLB! Shoppach is just on the squad to pick his brain about Rays staff, Salty is solid and Lavarnway is a straight up BEAST!

      • Tko11 4 years ago

        Yea the Vartiek and Salty combo worked rather well last year…hopefully Salty can keep it up!

      • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

        “Lavarnway is a straight up BEAST” If Lavarnway is a beast Montero is a God. He is certainly not a God therefore Lavarnway is something like a solid backstop. 

  10. Guest 4 years ago

    Why do I like Aceves as a starter more than Bard…

    I think both would be good, but Aceves just going as long man doesn’t fit with the rest of the guys in the pen.  I think he could be an intimidating 4th starter, as long he keeps his composure and arm slot.

    Bard can close until he blows up and Melancon/Bailey/Jenks can fill in potentially.

    BTW Remember last year when the Sox supposedly had the most depth in starting pitching in the AL….? Let’s not get to high on this bullpen, yet.

    • BeisbolJunkie 4 years ago

      Looks like it will be Aceves

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “Remember last year when the Sox supposedly had the most depth in starting pitching in the AL”

      nope. epstein was open before the season began about his concerns over the lack of SP depth

      you also should definitely not like aceves as a starter more than bard. people have begun to really overrated aceves. he isn’t an elite arm. he’s valuable because he can pitch multiple innings multiple days and handle the 7th. he would not be great as a setup man and certainly wouldn’t be great as a starter. his value is maximized as a long reliever

  11. tmengd 4 years ago

    did they give up more potential talent for melancon then they did for bailey?

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

       No, I’d say they gave up more potential talent for Bailey.

  12. NomarGarciaparra 4 years ago

    So far I think Cherington has done a good job with trades, bringing in Melancon and Bailey only losing Lowrie and Reddick (most significantly). Lowrie has potential, but always seems to be injured, and Reddick has even greater potential, but for Bailey, it’s definitely worth it.

  13. BeisbolJunkie 4 years ago

    Billy Beane is showing how a rebuild is done. Astros will still be sitting in last place when they move to the AL in 2013. Now all they need is a ballpark.

  14. Rr 4 years ago

    I like reddick too but I have 2 words for that. Ryan Kalish

  15. chee1rs 4 years ago

    time will tell

  16. The A’s got much better with adding an everyday OFer who was Bostons #4 overall prospect last season, and cleared salary. The teenage prospects cant really be looked at yet but Sickles says they both have high ceilings. How can anyone think Beane did badly in this trade? He killed it. 

    Boston gets a risky closer and Sweeneys albatross of a contract. Boston filled their need and didnt have to buy Madson and also have Melancon as a backup if Bailey is out injured. None of the guys moved had much of a future in Boston anyway so its no skin off their nose if the A’s “win” this deal in the long run, which looks very likely.

    • Hate to tell you but it’s highly up in the air as to whether Reddick can be an everyday OF.

    • crashcameron 4 years ago

      I’m thinking Ryan Sweeney wouldn’t sign an autograph for you? or buy you a drink? you’ve been ranting about his Bobby Orr knees and now you’re on about his $1.4M “albatross” of a contract ?????????? you’re a man on a mission that nobody ordered

    • crashcameron 4 years ago

      I’m thinking Ryan Sweeney wouldn’t sign an autograph for you? or buy you a drink? you’ve been ranting about his Bobby Orr knees and now you’re on about his $1.4M “albatross” of a contract ?????????? you’re a man on a mission that nobody ordered

  17. Otis26 4 years ago

    Aviles is a decent bench player – even though I don’t care for his attitude.

    Play him full-time in right field and that will fail.

  18. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    He should be holding a red bull. Just saying.

  19. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    he’s not going to be a star, but he doesn’t have to be

    i think athletics fans were satisfied with josh willingham last year. reddick isn’t likely to hit 30 HRs, but he’ll be much better defensively and can reasonably be expected to produce at a .340 wOBA clip in oakland (willingham put up .350 last year)

  20. has a A’s fan i agree with you 100% and yes reddick is better then sweeney 

  21. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    Perfect. What happened to your first post?

  22. I am willing to bet you wouldn’t take on Pedroia in person.

  23. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    it’s nearly impossible to be worse than sweeney, i think only jeff mathis can pull that off 

  24. redsx968 4 years ago

    The assault on BLEACHER CREATURE’s caps has begun!!!!

  25. PileOfSandwich 4 years ago

    I’m willing to bet he has an unhealthy fascination with Pedroia.

  26. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    Anyone who is willing to take on Pedroia in person better be ready to get destroyed. He gives me the impression that he would be pretty crazy in a fight. Plus he drink like 3 red bulls a day, so it would be tough to knock him out since he would be so amped up.

  27. melonis_rex 4 years ago

    Batting average = a terrible way to measure a hitter. 

  28. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i like all of the players boston traded away, but they were all expendable. using a surplus in one area to fill a need in another is good business and this package is certainly much smaller than what would have been required for a starter (which will now be bard’s job) and is preferable to giving ryan madson his ransom

    speaking of which – last 3 seasons:

    madson 67 FIP- 68 ERA- 2.64 SIERA 2.93 tERA
    a.bailey 67 FIP- 50 ERA- 2.91 SIERA 2.40 tERA

  29. It’s interesting that you mentioned Madson.

  30. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Lets not forget about the cost of Madson vs Bailey either…

    Isn’t it odd how an area of what seemed to be glaring weakness all of a sudden turns out to be of immense strength? That includes even if they move either Aceves/Bard (one) into the rotation.

    Seems we had a little back n forth a few days back regarding the pen.. Who sticks now?


    Then the last W/C spot to??



    It gets interesting with Bard in the rotation possibly

  31. Dan Gorgone 4 years ago

    That’s why the call him Pedroia the Destroya. (It’s a t-shirt.)

  32. Blue_Bomb 4 years ago

    OBP = a walk is as good as a home run and SB is unimportant in hitting
    SLG = a home run is exactly 4x as good as a single and walks/SB are unimportant in hitting

    Try wOBA.

  33. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    bard is definitely in the rotation after this trade. i think tazawa starts in AAA and morales is out of a job unless the sox forego another SP acquisition and give the fifth spot to miller/dobrount

    if opening day were tomorrow, i imagine it’d look like this



    there still isn’t a standout lefty in there, but there wasn’t last year either. miller and dobrount are out of options, so unless there’s a trade they’re staying put

    that’s a solid bullpen, though, and depending on who fills the #4 spot, potentially a very solid rotation

  34. melonis_rex 4 years ago

    Let’s look at 2011. Sweeney hasn’t been the same since all the injuries after 2009, and Reddick’s first at least close to full season was 2011. 

    2011 Sweeney: .306 wOBA
    Reddick: .335 wOBA

    I see a difference.

  35. Dustroia15 4 years ago

    That’s legit.

  36. $17857693 4 years ago

    I think the sox could realisticly pick up 2 of Saunder/Maholm/Oswalt/Francis/Harden. That would be ideal for me if we got Saunders Harden and Francis/Duke because all have experience as starters, and would be cheap, i’m still weiry of Bard in the rotation and hope they vote against it. I think this would be viable with a prolific bullpen so the starters only have to go 6 innings.



  37. johnsilver 4 years ago

    With you in wanting to see Doubrant have a good spring, start the season as a reliable swing guy on the team. he could really be a help.

    Oswalt is the sole missing key piece, other than a RH bat to platoon in RF to a lesser degree.

    This deal solved a couple of problems (decent utility OF) in 1 swoop.

    If Cherrington could somehow manage to get Oswalt AND Ross (understand crisp is hoping for a bit much) then from now on might be able to understand he works behind the scenes and leaks virtually nothing to the media with regards to his moves…

  38. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i believe they’ve told bard he will either start or close. acquiring bailey seems certain to mean he isn’t going to close, so starting it is

    also it looks like you may have killed felix dobrount in your scenario. that’s bad manners

  39. MaineSox 4 years ago

     He’s not dead, he’s just… missing…

  40. commenter3346 4 years ago

    I don’t think the bullpen is “much” improved at all. I think it’s a wash at best. If both Aceves & Bard go into the rotation, that’s a loss of Aceves, Bard, & Papelbon (the 3 best relievers on the team last year) in the bullpen while gaining Melancon & Bailey. If Bowden/Doubront do something this year, then it’s a different story.

  41. Guest 4 years ago

    agreed. and he did it cheaply, leaving some financial wiggle room for a starter…

    …and he didn’t trade Youk, as some numb-skulls were proposing.

  42. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Cherington’s most unsung move so far:

    Proving that, hey, maybe our farm’s not completely stripped. He managed to acquire a quality reliever from a guy who just absolutely pillaged the Nationals for a middle of the rotation starter without giving up any big names in a market where closers are making bucketloads of money. How? Because we have under appreciated depth in the low levels of the minors.

    We don’t have much of anything to step up from AAA right now, but we’re actually in good position for trades with rebuilding teams with all the upside in our low levels.

  43. Dustroia15 4 years ago

    I think it’s quantity over quality at catcher. Salty had a great year last year but there is a reason we were able to pick him up for pretty much nothing. Varitek isn’t much of a loss and replaceable by Shoppach, I just don’t think Salty will be as good as last year, hopefully I’m wrong. Lavarnaway is a borderline catcher. I guess I shouldn’t complain though, catcher is a difficult position to fill.

    As for the pitching, we need to solidify the back end of the bullpen and the rotation. There are 3 spots (2 starters, 7th/8th guy) to fill with Bard and Aceves. A #3 guy turns into a 4th or 5th starter in the AL East. If both guys go to the rotation, the bullpen is a downgrade from last year and we need someone who can pitch well late in a game.

    Kalish also is not proven and injury prone. Sweeney is probably the projected RF right now. Sox definetly need someone else who can play right. Could be a starter, could be a solid bat off the bench but there is no consistancy in that.

    Compete may have been the wrong word but I don’t like their chances in the playoffs if they played Texas then the Angels, then the Yankees and finally the Phillies.

  44. Ugh, Sweeney has CHRONIC. KNEE. PROBLEMS. He’s nothing like Reddick and wont be a factor, he was a salary dump, nothing more nothing less. Boston doesnt get Bailey if they dont take Sweeney, or if they do its for top 10 prospects. They got to keep their best ones because they had to take on Sweeney. 

    Sweeney’s last 180 games in the bigs = 1.0 WAR. That = guy who relied on his knees who now has bad knees. He wont be in a Boston uni for long.

  45. Are you talking about Ryan Sweeney or another Sweeney? Ryan hasnt been any use to anyone since his 09 season, as his knees are completely shot.

  46. Blue_Bomb 4 years ago

    How is a HR 4x as good as a single? If 4 people in a row hit singles, I get one run. If one person hits a home run, I get one run. But it’s a lot more likely for one person to hit a HR than for four people to hit singles.

    Look up win expectancy and run expectancy.

  47. Blue_Bomb 4 years ago

    Reddick did that in a limited sample size and he was streaky as heck. I’m not saying he’s a bust, but I like our end of the deal a lot better. I’d rather have Reddick than Sweeney, but we gave up nothing important to get Bailey.

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