Red Sox Acquire Andrew Bailey

New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherrington has made his first big move today in acquiring Oakland Athletics closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney for outfielder Josh Reddick and prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. The Sox needed a closer. Now they have one. I’ve been hoping the Sox would go after Bailey for a while and am very excited with this deal.

Admittedly, I don’t know too much about Head and Alcantara. Both seem to be top-level prospects, though neither is near major league ready. Head hit 22 home runs and drove in 82 runs for Class-A Greenville and Salem last year. Alcantara started the year with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, posting a 0.75 ERA and 0.60 WHIP in 48 innings. He was promoted to Lowell where he struggled in his 17 1/3 innings there, giving up 25 hits and 12 earned runs, but still striking out 14. The upper-level of the Sox farm system was depleted by the trade for Adrian Gonzalez last year and the Sox organization has been looking to rebuild it since. This trade certainly doesn’t help that, but neither Head nor Alcantara will be ready for the majors (if they continue improving) for a few years and the Red Sox have greater depth in lower-level prospects.

Josh Reddick is a solid outfielder who started extremely hot for Boston last Summer, but faded badly down the stretch. While many analysts love Reddick’s swing, I’ve always had my doubts and have seen him as great trade bait. He has terrible plate discipline and I’ve always expected him to be a step faster. Nevertheless, he’s young and has potential but I’m still extremely happy with this trade.  Continue reading “Red Sox Acquire Andrew Bailey”

Red Sox Update 12/18

It’s been a while since the Red Sox season ended in utter embarrassment. So now it’s time to look to 2012 and how to build a roster that can make it a full season without imploding:

Manager

Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox after a two month search. It seemed that new General Manager Ben Cherington had favored Dale Sveum to take over as manager from Terry Francona, but management were not sold on Sveum and new Cubs General Manager Theo Epstein swooped and nabbed Sveum.

Many baseball analysts have been clamoring for Valentine to rein in the Sox clubhouse and I agree. Francona has always been and will always be a player’s manager, but the current roster of players do not have the personalities that mesh well with a player’s manager. Players like Josh Beckett and John Lackey, amongst many others, took advantage of the leeway Francona gave them. It’s time for a hard-nosed, disciplined manager to set some ground rules. The players are certainly embarrassed by the September collapse, but I want to make sure that the antics in the clubhouse will stop and Valentine will certainly do that. Continue reading “Red Sox Update 12/18”

Jason Bay Signs With Mets

Photo Courtesy of SonsOfSamHorn.net

Jason Bay, one of the two premier free agent hitters along with Matt Holliday, has agreed to a four-year, $66 million deal with the New York Mets. Bay had rejected a four-year, $60 million offer from the Red Sox earlier during the regular season as well as during the offseason and his market never developed fully. After originally seeking a deal with a guaranteed fifth year with a value of nearly $20 million a year, Bay relaxed his demands once he realized that the market just wasn’t there. The Mets still tossed in a $14 million option as a fifth year for Bay pending that he reaches a certain number of plate appearances (avoiding serious injury). Including that year, the deal comes out to $16 million a season. 

Considering Mark Teixeira received an eight-year, $180 million contract last season, Bay’s deal would seem to be a steal for the other New York team. Here is Teixeira’s stat line from 2008 before he signed that mega-deal and Bay’s stats from last season:

  ABs Hits 2B HR RBI BB   SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Teixeira 574 177 41 33 121 97 93 .308 .410 .552 .962
Bay 531 142 29 36 119 94 162 .267 .384 .537 .921

Those are pretty similiar statistics and Bay is only a year older than Teixeira was last season. The economy slashed contracts slightly, but the gap between Bay’s deal and Teixeira’s is still massive. The first reason is defense. Teixeira is a very good defensive first baseman while Bay is below-average for a left-fielder. In the cavernous Citi Field, Bay’s defensive woes will be more pronounced. On the offensive, playing at Citi Field will certainly bring down Bay’s numbers, especially considering Bay played in the friendly confines of Fenway Park last season. Add in the fact that Bay is a very streaky player and the Mets need a consistent bat and the deal does not look so great. Continue reading “Jason Bay Signs With Mets”