Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Boston Red Sox Acquire Andrew Bailey from Oakland

It appears that Oakland GM Billy Beane was serious when he said he wanted to get young and cheap this offseason.  Capping yet another trade of an established ML contributor, Oakland shipped All-Star closer Andrew Bailey as well as outfielder Ryan Sweeney to Boston for super-sub Josh Reddick and minor league players Miles Head and Raul Alcantara.  For Boston, Bailey will assume the vacant closers role left behind by the exit of Jonathan Paplebon to the Phillies via
free agency.  Bailey, a first year arbitration eligible player, joins a contender and will most likely be a prime candidate for a long term extension should he pitch well in 2012.  Former first-round pick Ryan Sweeney will assume a reserve outfielders role for the Red Sox next season.  For Oakland, Josh Reddick will be under team control through the 2017 season and will most likely assume a starting outfield spot for the A's in 2012.  Prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara will provide depth in the lower levels of oakland's farm system.

Initital Reaction: This is a win for Boston in my opinion.  I believe boston never felt that Josh Reddick was the long term answer for any starting outfield spot.  Having Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford locked up long term, it appears that Boston will eventually look to free agency to fill the inevitable void J.D. Drew will leave once he hangs it up.  For now, Drew is still with Boston and he'll continue to play out in right field assuming good health.  It's amazing to me how Oakland will make such a move to get only slightly statistically better at an outfield spot.  With other teams interested in Bailey, the A's must have felt Reddick was the best player they could get in what will be viewed by most as a preemptive salary dump by one of baseball's smallest market teams.  Oakland has a pretty good history of uncovering some young cheap talent but Reddick already has significant ML time under his belt so his skills are pretty well documented and scrutinized.  Finally, this move by Boston should end their pursuits of free agent Ryan Madson as well as the other currently unemployed free agent closer options.  I wish bailey the best of luck in beantown as well as reddick as his career takes a giant step into a starting role out in oakland.