Boston Red Sox

MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox Must Continue Quest for Andrew Bailey

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Andrew Bailey #40 of the Oakland Athletics  pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the ninth inning during an MLB baseball game at O.co Coliseum on September 4, 2011 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 8-5. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Michael DixonAnalyst IIIDecember 23, 2011

If the Red Sox are going to get back to the playoffs and seriously compete for a World Series, they need to bring in a closer. Right now, there's no better one on the trade market than Andrew Bailey

Yesterday, Jim Bowden of ESPN tweeted that the A's and Red Sox were close on a deal that would send Bailey to Boston. 

Obviously, the Gio Gonzalez trade has already happened, so there's some foundation to that thought. The Red Sox now need to pull the trigger on a deal for Bailey and bring him across the country. 

The combination of injuries and playing in Oakland has significantly hurt Bailey's save numbers over the years. Still, in three seasons, he's locked down 75 games. That's an average of 25 saves a season, that can easily go up by 10 to 15 playing on a team that's in position to win more, like the Red Sox. 

But it's the other numbers that tell you all you need to know. A career ERA of 2.07 and WHIP of 0.95 is nothing short of incredible. 

Remember, this is a bullpen that completely collapsed at the end of last season. One more game, and they're in a one game playoff. Two more and they're in the playoffs. 

And unlike the A's, the Red Sox can afford to unload prospects. The A's don't have a bankroll to go out and bring in big name free agents. Every year, the Red Sox have that budget. So if they give up a top prospect, they will have the money to bring in an elite free agent down the line. 

Boston has little to lose here, even if the players that they would give up turn into legitimate stars, they have the money to replace them, or even sign them back when the time is right. 

But right now, this team needs a closer to anchor its bullpen. Bailey is that guy. With him, other relievers fall into a more natural position, and a weakness turns into a strength. Without him, it's basically a closer by committee, which rarely works well.

Bailey is hands down the most reliable closer available. He's better than Francisco Cordero or Ryan Madson, who are free agents. The Red Sox need to pull the trigger and make it happen.

 

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