Less than three weeks into the offseason, the Boston Red Sox have already made a splash.
The club is close to hiring Andrew Bailey as its pitching coach, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Bailey, whose contract with the Giants recently expired, will replace Dave Bush.
Bailey comes with an impressive resume, and his hiring gives Red Sox fans several reasons to be optimistic. Here’s a look at why Red Sox Nation should be excited.
Andrew Bailey turned around the Giants’ pitching
Bailey is regarded as one of baseball’s most impressive pitching coaches. He was the driving force behind the Giants’ newfound success within the rotation, including dominant seasons from Kevin Gausman, Carlos Rodón, and Logan Webb.
Furthermore, Anthony DeSclafani credits Bailey with helping him find a curveball “that works.” This week-long process solved a years-long problem that had been plaguing DeSclafani. Working with Bailey ultimately led to DeSclafani posting a 4.8 percent walk rate in 2023. Meanwhile, his retooled curveball came with a .186 wOBA and 27.8 percent whiff rate.
As the Red Sox prepare for an offseason full of rotation additions, having someone like Bailey on the staff will be crucial. The Red Sox can now afford to take risks on some pitchers who may be classified as “projects” in hopes that Bailey can help them become rotation staples.
Hiring Andrew Bailey will attract free agent pitchers
Having Bailey on the staff allows the front office to take some risks, and it also gives the club a leg-up on negotiations with free agents. His aforementioned track record with pitchers makes Boston a far more intriguing landing spot than if they had kept Bush.
BSI's Drew Koch identified three free agents who could follow Bailey from San Francisco to Boston.
Looking beyond the Giants connection, Lucas Giolito, Luis Severino, and Jack Flaherty represent three pitchers who are looking to bounce back and further develop their careers. Perhaps the Red Sox could use Bailey’s expertise as a bargaining chip to land one of these free-agent hurlers.
The move demonstrates Craig Breslow’s aggressiveness
Fans and critics of Chaim Bloom agreed on one thing: the former Red Sox chief baseball officer was too timid. He lacked the aggressiveness needed to succeed as the executive in charge of running Boston’s beloved baseball team.
Breslow, on the other hand, has already spoken about his desire to be aggressive. Earlier this month, he told The Athletic that the club could not afford to be patient in their search for a new pitching coach.
"Offseason days are precious, just given how productive they can be in terms of development for our players. Every day that our pitching staff doesn’t have a pitching coach, in my mind, is a bit of a lost opportunity. I do think that it’s important to prioritize filling those vacancies."- Red Sox CBO Craig Breslow
Landing Breslow amidst competition from the rival Yankees and Orioles reflects Breslow’s aggressive nature early into his Boston tenure. This should provide Red Sox fans with plenty of optimism.