Andrew Bailey Rumors
The Red Sox have acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in a trade that will send Josh Reddick to Oakland and Ryan Sweeney to Boston, the teams announced. First base prospect Miles Head and right-handed pitching prospect Raul Alcantara are going to Oakland in the deal.
Bailey (pictured) figures to replace longtime closer Jonathan Papelbon at the back of Boston's bullpen in 2012. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 3.24 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 37.1% ground ball rate in 41 2/3 innings in 2011 after recovering a forearm strain that sidelined him early on in the season. MLBTR projects a $3.5MM salary for Bailey in 2012. The two-time All-Star and 2009 AL Rookie of the Year is under team control through 2014.
Reddick, 24, posted a .280/.327/.457 line in 278 plate appearances for the Red Sox this past season. The left-handed hitter got his first extended shot at Major League pitching in 2011, after posting a .278/.332/.500 line in parts of five minor leagues seasons. Reddick has big league experience at all three outfield positions and figures to get the chance to play every day in Oakland. He's under team control through 2016 and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 campaign.
Sweeney, 27 in February, played all three outfield positions for the Athletics in 2011, posting a .265/.346/.341 line in 299 plate appearances. He has experience in parts of six big league seasons and will remain under team control through 2013. Sweeney's career UZR/150 of 9.2 suggests he's an above-average defender, and his numbers in right field are particularly impressive. MLBTR projects a 2012 salary of $1.6MM for Sweeney through arbitration.
Sweeney's a left-handed hitter who has a solid career line of .296/.352/.402 against right-handed pitching. However, GM Ben Cherington may want to pair him with someone who can hit left-handers given his career .233/.306/.289 line against southpaws. Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald (.285/.348/.451 career line against lefties) are internal candidates for the Red Sox to consider and right-handed hitting free agents Ryan Spilborghs and Cody Ross could also be fits.
The Red Sox selected Head, now 20, in the 26th round of the 2009 draft. He has posted a .274/.351/.446 line in 861 minor league plate appearances over the course of the past three seasons, but has yet to reach Double-A. Alcantara, who recently turned 19, has a 2.72 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 as a starter in 125 2/3 minor league innings. However, he has just four appearances above Rookie Ball.
Bailey will join the recently-acquired Mark Melancon in a new-look Red Sox bullpen. Boston may move Daniel Bard to the rotation and Alfredo Aceves might also start, but Matt Albers, Scott Atchison, Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales are candidates to contribute out of the bullpen in 2012.
Athletics closer Andrew Bailey likely will be traded to the Red Sox or Rangers, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who notes that both suitors have interest and the chips needed. Earlier this month the Rangers won the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish and the Red Sox acquired Mark Melancon, but reports indicated both clubs remained interested in Bailey. The Rangers might have an excess of starters if they sign Darvish and keep Alexi Ogando out of the 'pen.
In a report a week ago, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that the Rays are also in on Bailey.
Two years ago today, the Blue Jays traded Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez to the Mariners for Brandon Morrow. Morrow has pitched to a 4.62 ERA as a starter in his two seasons with Toronto while League became an All-Star closer last season. Here's the latest from the AL East...
- In an ESPN Insider-only piece, Jim Bowden reports that the Red Sox offered a position player heavy package to the Athletics for Gio Gonzalez before he was traded to the Nationals. Bowden adds that the Blue Jays were only willing to part with risky low-level minor leaguers for the southpaw.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Red Sox's pursuit of both Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey was "very much part of conversation for majority of the time," but they shifted their attention to solely Gio after they learned they were competing with the Nats (Twitter links). The Blue Jays jumped into the bidding late, adds the FOX scribe.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles are not shopping Adam Jones, but GM Dan Duquette will listen to offers and make counter proposals. We recently learned that the Orioles wanted Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and at least two of the Braves' young pitchers in return for their center fielder.
- The Yankees considered pursuing Carlos Beltran earlier this offseason according to Bob Klapisch of The Bergen Record (on Twitter), but ultimately decided against it because of his balky knees. Beltran agreed to a two-year deal with the Cardinals yesterday.
- MLB.com's Mike Bauman writes that the Red Sox's makeover - from the front office to the manager to the roster - will be heavily scrutinized this season.
2:44pm: The Red Sox are trying to get Gonzalez and Bailey in a "monster deal," tweets Rosenthal. The Rays are also in on Bailey and the Nationals are the team to beat on Gonzalez, Rosenthal reports.
2:14pm: It looks like the Nationals and Red Sox are the finalists for Gonzalez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Red Sox or Nationals will likely acquire Gonzalez today. Both Heyman and Gammons suggest the Nationals are the favorites to obtain the left-hander.
1:10pm: The A's are moving closer to a Gio Gonzalez trade, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (all links go to Twitter). The bidding is down to two teams, one of which is the Nationals. The Marlins and Red Sox may also be involved, but the Rangers are not. The Yankees and A's never built momentum toward a deal involving Gonzalez, Olney reports. The Mariners had discussed Gonzalez and it's not clear if they're involved in the current trade talks.
The Nationals are believed to be willing to include multiple top prospects for Gonzalez, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Prospects such as Brad Peacock, Destin Hood, Eury Perez and A.J. Cole could be available to the Athletics. Derek Norris is in the discussion, Olney writes.
Gonzalez is under team control through 2015 and has reached the 200-inning plateau in each of the past two seasons without posting an ERA above 3.23. However, no MLB pitcher has walked more opponents in the past two seasons than Gonzalez and he's about to get expensive through arbitration (projected 2012 salary of $4.2MM).
With the clock ticking on their 30-day negotiating window with Yu Darvish, the Rangers aren't done searching for pitching upgrades. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that Texas still has interest in Athletics closer Andrew Bailey.
If the Rangers were to acquire Bailey, they would almost certainly trade a pitcher - perhaps Matt Harrison - for a first baseman or center fielder, according to Rosenthal.
The Rangers' interest in Bailey is nothing new, though during the Winter Meetings they were said to be balking at Billy Beane's asking price for the right-hander. The Red Sox have been the team linked to Bailey most often in recent weeks, even after their acquisition of Mark Melancon.
Assuming the Rangers can finalize a deal with Darvish within the next month, Neftali Feliz's move to the rotation means the club would have an excess of starting pitching. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote yesterday, Texas could consider starting the season with a six-man rotation. A trade is also a possibility. But if the Rangers decided to move Alexi Ogando to a bullpen which already includes Joe Nathan and Mike Adams, you'd think the team would be less inclined to part with premium prospects for Bailey.
The Red Sox strengthened their bullpen yesterday and they aren’t done yet. Boston continues pursuing relievers, including A’s closer Andrew Bailey, even after adding Mark Melancon, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (on Twitter).
Boston may move Daniel Bard to the rotation and Alfredo Aceves might also start, so Boston's interest in relievers is no surprise. They've been linked to left-handers such as Darren Oliver and right-handers such as Ryan Madson throughout the offseason. Melancon joins Matt Albers, Scott Atchison, Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales in Boston's projected bullpen.
GM Ben Cherington sounds comfortable with Melancon as a closer, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (on Twitter). However, Bailey recently told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he won't be surprised if the A's send him to an East Coast team like the Red Sox.
- The chances of Jimmy Rollins signing with the Tigers seem incredibly thin, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- GM Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers had "minimal" discussions with Aramis Ramirez’s representatives, Chris Iott MLive.com reports. The Tigers did not make the third baseman a formal offer before the Brewers signed him.
- Athletics closer Andrew Bailey admits that he doesn't know where he'll be pitching next year, but the trade candidate sounds prepared for the possibility that he'll be dealt before Opening Day, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Bailey grew up on the East Coast and says he has an understanding of what it would be like to pitch for a team like the Red Sox.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says he's moving forward under the assumption that Ryan Braun will be in the lineup next year, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The Brewers are doing "business as normal," though Braun tested positive for a banned substance and faces a possible 50-game suspension.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The Red Sox have not yet made catcher and captain Jason Varitek a contract offer, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Boston added Kelly Shoppach to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway on Tuesday, a move that likely spelled the end of Varitek's time with the Sox.
- There are clubs with interest in trading for both Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and others with interest in both Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, but Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says the Athletics and Braves are likely to deal their players separately to maximize the return. Rosenthal and Morosi note that the Braves and Orioles have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado.
- Interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero has slowed down, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). His market could hinge on how clubs fill their other roster holes.
- The Pirates still have interest in first baseman Derrek Lee even after trading for Casey McGehee, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Bringing Lee back at first base would allow them to use McGehee at the hot corner with Pedro Alvarez.
- Heyman hears that the Angels put a deadline on their ten-year, $254MM offer to Albert Pujols (Twitter link). The deal did seem to come together very quickly Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.
- The Rockies do have some money to spend according to Heyman (on Twitter). In addition to Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer, they also have interest in Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, and various trade targets.
- Morosi says (on Twitter) that Andruw Jones could also be an option for the Rockies if Beltran and Cuddyer sign elsewhere.
- The Cardinals' interest in pitching upgrades is "understated," reports Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain on the trade block.
- The Yokohama Bay Stars have released right-hander Hiroki Sanada so that he may pursue a deal in MLB according to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. No teams bid on Sanada when he was posted last week.
- The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole.
- MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner says the Joint Drug Agreement should provide Ryan Braun with privacy and fair proceedings. “I urge all to reserve judgment on this matter until the JDA's process has played itself out," Weiner said in a statement.
A few notes from Buster Olney's latest Insider-only blog entry at ESPN.com:
- Olney discusses the Ryan Braun bombshell, noting players across the league "are much more vigilant about PED use than they used to be." While players often treated PED users with indifference in the past, many now view users as a threat to their livelihood. The Brewers released a statement on Braun late last night.
- At least four teams have talked to the Marlins about a Hanley Ramirez trade, but none of the discussions seem to have progressed at all.
- Within the industry, the Rangers are viewed as the frontrunner for Yu Darvish, given the extensive scouting they've done.
- The fact that Albert Pujols agreed to sign with the Angels without a single face-to-face visit with the Angels' brass or to Anaheim is a strong indicator that Pujols was unhappy with the Cardinals' negotiations, says Olney.
- Having dealt Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow, the Athletics will continue making moves and will "probably" trade Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez in the coming weeks.
- The A's preferred Jarrod Parker over Trevor Bauer during trade talks with Arizona, a source tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link).
- Assistant GM David Forst confirmed that all of the A's players are available to be traded except for Jemile Weeks, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com. Two players who have been mentioned prominently in rumors this offseason are lefty starter Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey.
- Interest in Gonzalez and Bailey is "intense," a Major League source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. The Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Marlins are targeting Gonzalez, while the Red Sox are after Bailey, according to Rosenthal. The Rangers and Reds like both players.
- The A's objective is to get younger - not necessarily cheaper - and to build a competitive team within three years in anticipation of a potential move to a new ballpark in San Jose, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links).
- Parker and center fielder Collin Cowgill both have a chance to win starting jobs in spring training this year, according to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter links).