Andrew Bailey traded to the Red Sox, A’s get worse

The Mariners once had interest in Bailey. Apparently it wasn't garbage day, and they didn't want to unload their trash on Boston.

The A’s traded Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Boston Red Sox today, in the first big trade that involved a major league reliever this offseason. The team received outfielder Josh Reddick, minor league first baseman Miles Head and right-hander Raul Alcantara. If we look at this haul, obviously, the two key components are Bailey and Reddick.

Bailey is 27 years old, and has averaged exactly 9.0 K/9 in his first three seasons. He’s projected to be paid $3.5 million this year, his first year of arbitration, and the Red Sox will have three more years of team control. Bailey is coming off his worst year, though his 3.52 xFIP is hardly something to sneeze at. The slight decline isn’t cause for concern probably, but rather likely a regression to a more reasonable mean, as Bailey was lucky in his first two seasons, and showed no velocity dip or pitch-selection change to predicate his drop in production.

Reddick is an MLB outfielder who has been largely disappointing but who also showed a lot last year. He was worth almost two wins in about a half-season worth of plate appearances last year, but was about a half-tick above average at the plate. Reddick is a very good defender in the outfield, and may be able to man center field, where his bat would play very well. However, until this year he was basically Michael Saunders.

The problem with this trade is that the A’s gave up Ryan Sweeney, who is basically Reddick’s equal, though he’s about two years older and has one less year of team control.

The other two components in the trade, Head and Alcantara, are essentially organizational fodder. Head is a right-handed first baseman who hits for some power, and as a right handed first baseman, his bat must be very good. His probably isn’t good enough. He’s ranked in the late 20’s on this prospect list, as is Alcantara, who is basically Erasmo Ramirez with a couple less strikeouts.

What is scary about this though is that Brandon League is probably worth less than Andrew Bailey on the trade market. I wouldn’t take what the A’s got for Bailey in exchange for Brandon League and Saunders.

I could make a pretty good argument that Ryan Sweeney is nearly as good as Reddick, and that the A’s basically gave Bailey up for two shitty prospects. You can love or hate the idea of a Prince Fielder signing, but I really hate the idea of giving up good pitchers for nothing.

Do you like this trade for the A's or Red Sox?

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