The Angels are engaged in early talks to retain reliever Andrew Bailey, GM Billy Eppler tells Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). While there’s no deal yet, it seems that the Halos are making the veteran righty a priority.
Bailey, 32, has battled through arm issues in recent years, but was finally healthy in 2016. He struggled with the Phillies, but seemingly found a home in Los Angeles late in the season. It’s worth remembering that Eppler was with the Yankees when they gave him rebound opportunities in 2014 and 2015.
Over a dozen appearances with the Angels, Bailey allowed just three earned runs on nine hits while recording eight strikeouts against only two walks. And he ultimately landed in the Halos’ closer role, locking up six saves.
It remains to be seen what kind of contract Bailey can command, and what other interest might develop, but that late-season push may at least have earned him a major league deal. Still, clubs will be mindful of his lengthy injury history as well as the fact that he struggled to a 6.40 ERA over his 32 1/3 innings in Philadelphia to open the 2016 season.