Today, the Red Sox finalized the deal that landed closer Andrew Bailey and right fielder Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland A’s for Josh Reddick and two boom-or bust Single A minor leaguers. All signs point to a great move by Ben Cherington and the Sox organization.
Bailey fills up the void at closer left by Jonathan Papelbon. I like this move because a.) Daniel Bard will be able to begin the transition to shore up the starting rotation and b.) Mark Melancon can move into a setup role that I think he is better suited (due to his non-overpowering repertoire). Bailey was the 2009 Rookie of the Year and has had some injury problems in the past, but the organization thinks they won’t affect him in the future. (After our luck last year with pitching injuries, lets knock on wood for this one). Let’s hope this guy can deal with the pressures of Boston a little better than Byung-Hyun Kim.
I loved Josh Reddick. He displayed the same grit and hardnosed play in right field that hadn’t been seen since Trot Nixon or Gabe Kapler. Hate to see the guy go after his successful job filling in for Nancy Drew last year. That being said, his Average and OBP were nothing special. Sweeney had pretty similar numbers against right-handers (both were primarily platoon outfielders against righties). Also, Sweeney is supposed to be a better fit in Fenway because he can spray a lot more hits off the monster instead of the pull-happy Reddick. Lastly, this trade opens up the position for Ryan Kalish, who looked like a great player for the future in the last two months of 2010 (before missing last year with shoulder surgery).
Should be interesting from here seeing what the Sox do to the roster in the last months before spring training. Considering the Sox now have a pretty inexpensive bullpen, look for them to spend some money for another starter to join the squad (Hiroki Kuroda, Joe Saunders, Edwin Jackson have all been rumored). Also, possibly a right fielder, most likely one for platooning against left-handed pitchers (possibly Cuban Yoenis Cespedes?).