Andrew Bailey Rumors
More than 15 teams have called to express interest in free agent reliever Andrew Bailey, MLBTR has learned. The 29-year-old had season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in July, and the Red Sox declined to tender him a contract earlier this month. Barring setbacks, he is expected to be Major League game ready by mid-May.
Bailey burst onto the scene in 2009, saving 26 games with a 1.84 ERA for the Athletics and winning the Rookie of the Year award. He made the All-Star team in 2009 and '10, though in 2010 he missed nearly a month with an intercostal strain. Bailey also had elbow surgery in late September that year. In 2011 he was injured in a spring training game, making his season debut on May 29th after recovering from a forearm strain. Bailey had thumb surgery in April 2012, making his season debut in mid-August.
Bailey hasn't had a completely healthy season since his rookie year. However, he still averages the same 94 miles per hour on his fastball he did then, and aside from a recent flyball tilt and a slip in control, Bailey has continued to show good skills in his limited mound time.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of American League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Orioles announced they've non-tendered outfielder Jason Pridie and minor league starter Eddie Gamboa.
- The Rays will non-tender reliever Wesley Wright, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
- The Red Sox announced that they have non-tendered outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mike Salk of WEEI.com tweets.
- The White Sox will not tender a contract to pitcher Dylan Axelrod, tweets Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Angels will non-tender pitcher Jerome Williams, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The club will also non-tender righty Tommy Hanson and third baseman Chris Nelson, tweets DiGiovanna. J.C. Gutierrez will also be non-tendered, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, though that seemed a given since that he had already been designated for assignment.
- The Indians have non-tendered outfielder Matt Carson, pitcher Tyler Cloyd, and catcher Lou Marson, the club announced.
- The Rays are non-tendering outfielder Sam Fuld, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fuld, who will turn 32 in a few weeks, could be a lefty-swinging bench piece for another club, though he slashed only .199/.270/.267 last year in 200 plate appearances for Tampa.
- GM Brian Cashman says that the Yankees will non-tender infielder Jayson Nix, tweets Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The 31-year-old veteran appeared in 87 games for New York last season, putting up a .236/.308/.311 line in 303 plate appearances. The club will also non-tender reliever Matt Daley and infielder David Adams. New York confirmed the moves via press release.
- The Royals announced that they have non-tendered second baseman Chris Getz. The 30-year-old Getz has tried to hold down Kansas City's keystone spot for several years now but produced just a .246/.299/.314 batting line from 2012-13. Swartz had pegged Getz for a $1.3MM salary in 2014.
The Red Sox have declined to offer arbitration to right-handed reliever Andrew Bailey, the club announced (via a tweet from Mike Salk of WEEI.com). The 29-year-old will now hit the open market. He is represented by Jim Murray of Excel Sports Management.
Last year, Bailey threw 28 2/3 innings for the Sox, notching a 3.77 ERA and posting a strong 12.2 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9. His season ended after he suffered a shoulder injury, however, which ultimately required surgery. Bailey was a major part of the deal that sent Josh Reddick to the Athletics before the 2012 season.
We had heard yesterday that Boston would tender a contract to Bailey, but that obviously did not occur. As noted in that post, Bailey is expected to miss a significant portion of 2014, though he says his rehab is progressing well.
The Red Sox will tender a contract to Andrew Bailey, a source tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Sherman surmises the reliever can serve as insurance for the incumbent closer Koji Uehara and/or become a valuable trade chip this summer. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects that Bailey will earn $4.3MM through arbitraton, after earning $4.1MM during an injury-plagued 2013.
Bailey underwent shoulder surgery in July and is expected to miss the first half of the 2014 season making him a non-tender candidate. Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports Bailey has made twice-weekly trips to Boston since the end of the season to work with Red Sox physicians and trainers and will begin his throwing program in January. The 29-year-old, however, refused to put a timetable on his rehab.
"I don't want to say I'm ahead of schedule, but things are going really well," Bailey told MacPherson.
Bailey saved eight games and pitched to a 3.77 ERA, 12.2 K/9, and 3.8 BB/9 in 28 2/3 innings (30 innings) before landing on the disabled list. Since being acquired by Boston two years ago, Bailey has struggled with thumb and shoulder injuries limiting his production to 14 saves in 49 appearances covering 44 innings. In his previous three seasons with Oakland, Bailey was the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star with 75 saves in 157 appearances (174 innings).
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Koji Uehara's run of 37 straight batters retired came to an end last night, falling eight men shy of Mark Buehrle's absurd Major League record of 45 consecutive batters retired. Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus breaks down Uehara's streak (with some help from Dan Brooks of Brooksbaseball.net), looking at several at-bats along the way and calculating that, based on the projected rest-of-season OBPs of the hitters that Uehara faced, the average pitcher has a 0.000056 percent chance of retiring those 37 batters consecutively. Here's more on the Red Sox...
- General manager Ben Cherington may have gone 6-for-7 in terms of free agent signings this offseason, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman lists Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Koji Uehara, David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew as wins, and that's not including the cheap pick-up of Mike Carp. Other teams are taking note of the blueprint, with one Mets official telling Heyman there's "a lot of merit" to Cherington's approach. Heyman points out that even with the $8MM worth of incentives to Napoli, the total free agent commitment of $108.2MM is about $17MM less than Josh Hamilton's contract on its own.
- Ian Browne of MLB.com believes the Red Sox are probably more comfortable trying to retain Jarrod Saltalamacchia than trying to bring in a free agent or trade target to rebuild the excellent rapport that Saltalamacchia has established with the team's pitching staff.
- Within that same Inbox piece, Browne speculates that the team likely isn't comfortable going to six or seven years for Jacoby Ellsbury as a free agent, having learned the hard way from the Carl Crawford contract.
- Browne also writes that it's all but certain that the Red Sox will non-tender Andrew Bailey this offseason. Bailey earned $4.1MM this season and would've been in line for a slight raise via arbitration because he pitched well prior to being lost for the season due to injury once again. The team could still look to bring Bailey back at a reduced rate, but Uehara will be Boston's closer in 2014, Browne writes definitively.
As regular season baseball returns, let's have a look in at some links involving the American League East, which is the only MLB division to feature four teams with winning records:
- The Red Sox will emerge from the All-Star break down yet another bullpen arm, with reports emerging that Andrew Bailey will likely be lost for the season. In addition to making Boston's acquisition of Bailey look even less beneficial than it already did, the news could increase the likelihood that the Sox will return to the reliever market before the trade deadline. The team already moved to add two prominent names -- Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon -- on minor league deals earlier today.
- Boston GM Ben Cherington says that Bailey's loss will "move the needle" in determining whether the team will look to pick up another reliever, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier. He did maintain that the Red Sox have adequate internal options and said that he is disinclined to do anything major. "As I said when [Andrew] Miller went down, when a guy goes down you have to replace him somehow," said Cherington. "You hope that the guys are already here internally, but you've got to keep an open mind and continue to do that over the course of the next couple days."
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman also discussed the deadline today, telling reporters including Jack Curry of the YES Network that his club has active in trying to work up a deal but that the trade market is "a tough one." (Twitter link.) Cashman described the market for offensive players as "an offensive offensive market," tweets Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
- There could be a structural reason for the trouble the Yanks are finding, writes Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. With the two-wild card system leaving more teams in contention longer, he reasons, New York is less able to utilize its deep pockets to take on late-year salary dumps.
- The reason that the Yankees dropped injured outfielder Brennan Boesch earlier today, his agent tells Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com, is not Boesch's ability. "The Yankees' decision to release Brennan Boesch is a matter of timing, not talent," said agent Brodie Van Wagenen. "Brennan's rehab on his shoulder is going well and he expects to be full strength and able to make a meaningful contribution to a major league team in August."
- After designating outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment earlier today, the Orioles are hoping to work out a trade to get some value back for him, writes MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli. Manager Buck Showalter says that he believes Dickerson is a big league player who will catch on with another club. To complete a busy day for the O's, the club learned that it will likely go without backup outfielder Nolan Reimold for the rest of the year.
The Rangers have spoken to the Red Sox about acquiring relief pitching and right-hander Andrew Bailey may be a trade target, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports. General manager Jon Daniels said he was looking to add depth to both the bullpen and starting rotation during an interview with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLB Network Radio today (Twitter link) and Bailey would join Jason Frasor as right-handed setup options behind closer Joe Nathan.
We heard last week that the Rangers were scouting Red Sox relievers, though Boston may be hesitant to part with any bullpen arms given injuries to Franklin Morales and Craig Breslow. The Red Sox were open to dealing Bailey early in the offseason but it seems teams weren't willing to bite on a reliever who threw just 15 1/3 innings during an injury-plagued 2012 season. Bailey is slated to be a setup man behind newly-acquired Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan.
Here's a look at some notes out of the AL Central..
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears that the Tigers aren't just casually shopping for a closer, they have an all points bulletin out for one. We first heard yesterday that the Tigers are pushing to find a ninth-inning option and they have reportedly inquired on Carlos Marmol of the Cubs.
- There's no word yet on whether the Tigers called the Red Sox about Andrew Bailey, Heyman tweets. Heyman suggests that Jose Valverde would make sense on a one-year deal rather than giving something up in a trade, but all indications are that Detroit isn't looking to bring him back.
- Kenny Williams told Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com that he misses being a GM but doesn't miss the toll that it took on him. Williams ceded the title of GM to Rick Hahn and took on the role of executive vice president for the White Sox last year.
The Tigers raised eyebrows across baseball this offseason with their decision to install rookie Bruce Rondon as their closer. Now, they are having second thoughts about that plan and pushing hard to find a closer via trade, major league sources tell Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
The Nationals could afford to part with a reliever, after the signing of Rafael Soriano bumped back Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, but so far they are telling teams that they have no interest in moving anyone in the pen. The Red Sox have an extra closer in Andrew Bailey but the Tigers have yet to contact Boston about him.
Detroit could use Rick Porcello to land a ninth-inning option, but they'll want a strong closer in return given his strong play in spring training. There are also two unsigned closers in Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez, but they don't seem terribly interested in either one.
MLBTR is launching a new series entitled "Transaction Retrospection" in which we'll take a look back on trades that have taken place to see how the players involved -- including low-level minor leaguers -- have fared in new settings and how the involved teams have been impacted. Remember that you can always look back at the players involved in transactions and check in on them yourself using MLBTR's Transaction Tracker.
Oftentimes, as spectators of the game, we focus on the immediate impact of trades rather than the long-term impact that some major transactions have on the teams involved. For example, while some undoubtedly remember all of the players involved in last year's Andrew Bailey-Josh Reddick trade between the Red Sox and Athletics, the majority of fans likely can't name all five players. The immediate impact was apparent in Reddick's success and Bailey's injuries, but there's more to this trade than just those two names.
The Athletics traded Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston in exchange for Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. Reddick's breakout and Bailey's breakdown are well-known, but let's look at each player's individual progress to date:
The Major League Side
- Andrew Bailey: Bailey was supposed to take over as Boston's closer, but he would end up requiring thumb surgery in Spring Training and spend more than four months on the disabled list. Upon returning, he pitched to a disastrous 7.04 ERA in just 15 1/3 innings, walking eight and striking out 14 along the way. Bailey remains under team control through the 2014 season, so he'll have plenty of time to redeem himself and make this trade look better for Boston. However, he's been replaced as the closer following the offseason acquisition of Joel Hanrahan.
- Ryan Sweeney: Sweeney went homerless in 219 plate appearances, batting .260/.303/.373 along the way. He played his typically strong brand of defense in Boston, posting an 11.6 UZR/150 and saving five runs over his 467 1/3 innings, per The Fielding Bible. Sweeney was non-tendered by the Red Sox this offseason but re-signed with the team on a minor league contract late last month.
- Josh Reddick: Reddick exploded over the season's first half, batting a whopping .268/.348/.532 with 20 homers. While he slumped horribly in the second half, Reddick still finished with a .242/.305/.463 batting line with 32 homers. He was worth +22 runs per The Fielding Bible and posted an equally stellar 20.4 UZR/150. FanGraphs pegged Reddick's value at 4.8 wins above replacement. Reddick won't be arbitration eligible until after this coming season and is under team control through 2016.
The Prospect Side
- Miles Head: Head ranks as the A's No. 7 prospect according to Baseball America and No. 9 according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The 21-year-old primarily played third base in the Oakland organization, but also has experience at first base. He hit a ludicrous .382/.433/.715 with 18 homers in 67 games for High-A Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland. He held his own as a 21-year-old at Double-A, batting .272/.338/.404 but whiffed in 32.1 percent of his plate appearances. BA praises his quick, compact swing and "outstanding" bat control, which create enough power to profile as a corner infielder. Head's lack of range and athleticism leave his future at third base in doubt, according to BA.
- Raul Alcantara: Alcantara ranks as the team's No. 26 prospect according to BA and No. 11 prospect according to MLB.com. After a dominant 2011 in Boston's organization, Alcantara struggled with Oakland's Class-A affiliate in Burlington in 2012. He pitched to a 5.08 ERA, 5.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 102 2/3 innings of work. BA has his fastball at 90-95 mph, and they also praise his change-up's depth and armside run. Both Mayo and BA agree that Alcantara's breaking pitches need work but praise his delivery and command. Alcantara turned 20 in December, so it would seem there's plenty of time to hone his secondary pitches and develop a bit more movement on his fastball.
The trade also had an impact on other players already in the organizations. Bailey's injury forced Alfredo Aceves into the closer's role in Boston for the first time, which had unspectacular results. The acquisition of Bailey was supposed to give the Red Sox enough depth to shift Daniel Bard into the starting rotation. Bard struggled, however, and when he returned to the bullpen after a Triple-A stint, he allowed 14 runs in six innings of relief pitching.
Reddick's acquisition, meanwhile, replaced the power production of the departing Josh Willingham -- who signed as a free agent with the Twins -- and vastly improved Oakland's outfield defense in the process. Willingham's departure, the Bailey trade and the Gio Gonzalez trade allowed the A's to invest four years and $36MM in Cuban hotshot Yoenis Cespedes.
The trade looks bleak for the Red Sox right now, but one of the beauties of transactions like this is the seemingly endless web they spin. For example, a strong season from Bailey could lead to another trade, causing the cycle to start all over again.
Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.