Last season, the now former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, Theo Epstein, made a big trade for Adrian Gonzalez and an equally big free-agent signing when he snagged outfielder Carl Crawford.
New general manager Ben Cherington hasn't dipped into the free-agent market, but he hasn't been too gun-shy about pulling the trigger on trades.
When the Red Sox take the field on Opening Day 2012, the guys who emerge from the bullpen for the key innings are going to be totally different than what Red Sox fans have grown accustomed to.
Daniel Bard looks to be headed toward the starting rotation.
Jonathan Papelbon will be closing games out in Philadelphia.
It's going to be the Melancon and Bailey show in Beantown.
Cherington got Houston closer Mark Melancon in a deal a few weeks ago. And yesterday, he pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Josh Reddick, who was in the running for the vacant right field position, along with two prospects, Miles Head and Raul Alcantra, to Oakland for their closer, Andrew Bailey, as well as reserve outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
As of now, Melancon figures to be the eighth inning set-up man, and Bailey will close.
On the surface, this deal appears to dramatically favor the Boston Red Sox. After all, Bailey is a young closer signed to an affordable contract through the year 2015. He had a subpar 2011, but he was also hampered by injury.
Melancon is cheaper and younger and figures to set up and work the eighth inning.
Who wins and who loses in the deal that went down just before 5 p.m. EST yesterday?