The Boston Red Sox finally found their replacement for Jonathan Papelbon, trading Josh Reddick and two prospects to the Oakland A's for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney.
When the Boston Red Sox acquired reliever Mark Melancon from the Houston Astros, it looked as if they had found a potential replacement for departed closer Jonathan Papelbon. But the Red Sox didn't stop dealing, acquiring low-salary closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland A's. From Buster Olney:
The Red Sox have acquired Andrew Bailey from Oakland... Details to come ...
Olney later elaborated on the deal in a series of tweets. To wit: Bailey and Sweeney went to the Red Sox in exchange for Josh Reddick and prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. As a reminder of what the A's might have been looking for in a deal:
An outfielder. They could have used an outfielder. But they had to trade their only one to get one, and Reddick had a nice season last year, hitting .280/.327/.457 in 254 at-bats. For a 24-year-old, though, his career .278/.332/.500 line isn't that impressive, especially when considering that his best minor-league years came in A-ball.
Sweeney might be the averagest player who ever averaged, breaking up a three-year streak of 99 OPS+ with a .265/.346/.341 line in 2011 that was good for a 91 OPS+.
The centerpiece from the Red Sox' perspective, though, is obviously Bailey, a two-time All Star and former Rookie of the Year who has saved 75 games with a 2.07 ERA over his three-year career. He's arbitration eligible, and ineligible for free agency until after the 2014 season. He is also somewhat injury-prone, though, having pitched fewer than 50 innings in each of the last two seasons.
It seems like an underwhelming trade, but the A's weren't exactly dealing from a position of strength.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox get a new closer for the next three years at about $35 million less than their last one will make, and they didn't have to give up a top-ten prospect to do it. Not a bad deal if you can swing it.