Bailey Trade Makes Sense, But Not For Middlebrooks


It appears as though the Red Sox interest in Oakland A’s closer Andrew Bailey is for real and while the team’s were to meet on Tuesday, it doesn’t look like the two sides are close to a deal.

Peter Gammons of the MLB Network first tweeted that the A’s were considering a package from the Red Sox that would send Bailey to Boston and settle their bullpen woes.  That package included outfielder Josh Reddick, middle infielder Jed Lowrie and an additional prospect.  Then it comes out that Lowrie is not part of the deal.

There was speculation out of Dallas that the A’s GM Billy Beane now wants third base prospect Will Middlebrooks as part of the deal.  Buster Olney of ESPN has reported that a source close to the A’s claims that is not accurate.   Let’s hope that stays true, as Middlebrooks needs to stay with the Red Sox organization. 

Bailey, 27, would be a nice fit for the bullpen given his age and his lower salary expectations.  Last season he made just over the league minimum at $465,000.  While he is arbitration eligible, he will get a raise and a significant one at that, albeit a far cry from what Ryan Madson is asking for.

He’s been the A’s closer for all three seasons he’s been in the bigs, making good on an average of 25 saves every year.  He has a career ERA of 2.07, but one that skyrocketed in 2011, hitting 3.24, much higher than his previous two seasons that were below 2.00.   His strikeouts also decreases since his first season, but averaged at 41 in the last two years and averages 9 strikeouts in 9 innings.

In 2011 he made good on 24 on 26 save opportunities and has never blown more than four saves in a season which happened in 2009.

Bailey is a good option to bring in and slot in the back end of the bullpen.  You always have Daniel Bard if Bailey starts to falter, but it appears the young closer may be for real.

But to include Will Middlebrooks as part of the trade package is a little rich.  Middlebrooks is the third baseman of the future for the Red Sox and could be ready for the major league level as early as 2013.  With Kevin Youkilis breaking down every year Middlebrooks becomes a more valuable asset.

Ryan Kalish is likely a non-option seeing as how Reddick is being offered, Cherington likely wants to keep Kalish for right field.

Lars Anderson was a prospect that Oakland wanted last July for pitcher Rich Harden.  They wanted him then and they’d likely take him now.  Build a package with Anderson and Reddick with a couple of lower valued prospects that would be enough to land Bailey and let’s call it a day.

The two clubs aren’t that far along according to Gordon Edes, but at least they’re willing to talk and listen.

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