Andrew Bailey to Red Sox: 10 More Steps to Reclaiming AL East Throne for Boston

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Andrew Bailey to Red Sox: 10 More Steps to Reclaiming AL East Throne for Boston
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

Andrew Bailey finally landed, right where everyone thought he would land. The Boston Red Sox dealt Josh Reddick and a pair of prospects Wednesday to the Oakland Athletics to land Bailey, along with outfielder Ryan Sweeney. The deal presumably solidifies the team's plan to move Daniel Bard into the starting rotation for 2012.

The deal is a step forward for Boston. Sweeney and Reddick are more or less a wash, so they improved their bullpen substantially at the cost of only two mid-level prospects. They are now closer to winning the AL East in 2012 than they were Wednesday morning.

Still, there is work to be done. Unless the Tampa Bay Rays throw up their hands and just slot Dan Johnson in at first base, and unless the New York Yankees stubbornly stick with their current starting rotation going forward, Boston is not the favorite in the AL East at this moment. They need to shore up their starting rotation and (probably) bolster their outfield, finding a partner for Sweeney in right field. Here are 10 things they must do in order to head to Florida in February as divisional favorites.

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