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Red Sox acquire Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney from A’s for Josh Reddick, prospects

Dec 28, 2011, 5:07 PM EDT

Andrew Bailey Getty Images

Oakland continues to part with big-league pitching in an effort to construct a team ready to contend if/when a new ballpark is built, with Buster Olney of reporting that the A’s have traded closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox for outfielder Josh Reddick, first base prospect Miles Head, and pitching prospect Raul Alcantara.

Bailey is just 27 years old, arbitration eligible for the first time in 2012, and under team control through 2014, so much like the A’s trading Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill this move isn’t about money or impending free agency. Instead the A’s have clearly decided that even young, cheap, established MLB players probably won’t be around by the time they’re aiming to be competitive in the AL West.

Boston has been searching for a closer all offseason and Bailey’s arrival means Mark Melancon will serve in a setup role. Bailey has had some injury problems, but through 174 career innings he’s got a 2.07 ERA and 174/49 K/BB ratio, making him one of the majors’ elite bullpen arms.

Reddick had been slated to move into Boston’s starting lineup in right field, replacing free agent J.D. Drew, but now the Red Sox will likely go with Sweeney there while perhaps finding him a platoon partner to face left-handed pitching. Sweeney is a good defensive outfielder with solid on-base skills, but has just 14 homers and a .378 slugging percentage in 472 games.

Had the two sides moved more quickly on a Bailey deal Boston could have turned to a free agent to replace Reddick, but potential targets like Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel, and David DeJesus are all off the market now. Of course, with Ryan Kalish waiting in the wings they may not have wanted to make a multi-year commitment to a veteran anyway.

Reddick cooled down considerably following a great start stepping in for Drew last season, finishing with a .280 batting average and .784 OPS in 87 games at age 24. He doesn’t project as a star based on minor-league numbers that included mediocre batting averages and unspectacular power, but should be a quality everyday player and is under team control through 2016.

Head was a 29th-round pick in 2009, but emerged as a legitimate prospect this past season by hitting .299 with 22 homers and an .887 OPS in 129 games between two levels of Single-A as a 20-year-old. He’s several years from the majors, however, and isn’t considered a top prospect among first basemen.

Alcantara is even further away from the big leagues, spending this past season in rookie-ball, but the 18-year-old right-hander has a 2.72 ERA and 84/20 K/BB ratio in 126 career innings and brings plenty of long-term upside in his 6-foot-3 frame.

To get an elite 27-year-old closer and a useful outfielder for a solid regular and a pair of good but not great low-minors prospects makes this a pretty nice move for the Red Sox. It sure seems like Bailey’s injury history or the abundance of closers on the free agent market depressed his trade value considerably.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Interesting, but I can’t see this trade making Boston better.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM


    • xavier46 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      What exactly can you see? The Sox give up an average, young OF along with a 3B who is blocked by Youk and Middlebrooks and another OF. They get a top young closer and another average (at-best) OF. Sox did really well. A’s (if they were bent on getting rid of Bailey) did well to get a decent package in return. So again, can you see anything?

      • drewsylvania - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:45 PM

        Head is a 1B, not a 3B, regardless of what this article says.

    • marshmallowsnake - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      I have to agree with ?.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      There is no way the red sox were going to keep Josh Reddick: they have Ryan Kalish for RF, and in general have a ton of outfield prospects in their system (3 out of their top 10 are RF types). Reddick has always kind of been a second fiddle player, one with some good skillsets, but the fact that he doesnt command the strikezone as well as some, he was not long for the Sox organization. The Sox traded pieces that did not project into their long term solutions and got a fantastic pitcher in return, as a Sox fan I love it, even if I do like Reddick

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        Hmm i’m curious as to why I got four thumbs down…

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:35 PM

        Fantastic pitcher in return? 3.24 ERA as a closer is hardly “fantastic”, especially given that they play half of their games in the cow pasture known as Coliseum. Can’t wait to see Bailey blow a ton of games next season. Papelbon will be laughing all season long at you idiots.

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:42 PM

        and to Bozos for all, while I love Paps for all he did for the Red Sox, he was not worth that kind of money and there were a ton of very long fly balls to center or RF that would be home runs at the Phillies Park. I really think he’ll have a rougher go of it than with the sox. And Bailey’s ERA was 3.24 last year, but it was also in the 1’s the years before that. To me, thats “fantastic”

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM

        You can dream all you want to about the lower ERA that Bailey USED to have…but the most recent data shows that he is a 3.24 ERA closer. Good luck with using Doc Brown and that DeLorean “time machine” of his to go back and get the Bailey of two years ago instead of the one that you traded for who most recently posted that 3+ ERA. LMAO

        Maybe now that he is with the Red Sox, they can pump him full of steroids and he can go “Back to the Future” that way instead.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:11 PM

        You’re aware that ERA is a terrible stat to judge a reliever by, right? And that Papelbon (whom you now seem so very concerned Boston lost) had an ERA of nearly 4 in 2010 before getting back to his sub-3 ERA ways?

      • mornelithe - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        @ Ari: Ignore Bozos, he trolls anything related to Boston sports like he has a hardon for the City. You can find countless examples of his amazing personality all over PFT when New England wins a game.

      • homelanddefense - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Bozo is quiet in the football forums because his Jets suck, now all he has is trolling about the red sox….sad.

        Bailey sucks because of his 3.24 ERA (last year only) but they will miss Papelbon who was around 4 last year. Solid logic.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        mornelithe – Dec 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM
        @ Ari: Ignore Bozos, he trolls anything related to Boston sports like he has a hardon for the City. You can find countless examples of his amazing personality all over PFT when New England wins a game.

        Hardon for the City? The only sports fans that have hardons for any city are you Boston losers who can’t deal with the fact that NYC OWNS your second rate town. The Yankees have owned the Red Sox organization for nearly 100 years now and the Red Sox will never catch up.

      • mornelithe - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        @ Bozos: Don’t waste your time, I don’t read the majority of your posts, especially ones where you refer to me specifically. Grow up a little and learn how to have adult conversations and maybe people will actually talk to you like an adult. There’s a new years resolution for you.

      • foodforthesoul28 - Dec 31, 2011 at 12:21 AM

        bozo- instead of the DeLorean and Doc. Brown Maybe they should try Dr. Who and the Tardis.

  2. baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    I was pretty excited when I read this. We really needed to shore up the back end beyond Melancon…this gives us a little more breathing room to try Bard/Aceves in the rotation. Hopefully we can find a decent starter to fill in the back end, since Bard+Aceves don’t necessarily inspire a lot of confidence as starters (though I’m a little bit optimistic on Bard). I’m not a prospect expert, but Fangraphs had Head as our 15th best prospect, and Alcantra didn’t make the list. On top of that we found a replacement for Reddick in Ryan Sweeney, who will probably contribute about similar value to Reddick. Sox definitely win this one IMO.

    • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      Once again, a Red Sox fan engages in fantasy. LMAO

      Your bullpen will suck next season, along with the back end of your rotation.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM

        Yeah I mean…I’d argue with you but I think yelling at the wall would be more productive. I hope for your sake you’re not older than 15.

      • drewsylvania - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM

        Why are you so dumb?

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:45 PM

        15would make me 3 times as old as your kindergarten attending arse, baseballisboring.

  3. The Baseball Gods - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Not sure how Bailey will translate from the cozy confines of the Coliseum to the much smaller Fenway Park, but it seems like this was a great trade for the Red Sox. They get a very serviceable outfielder along with one of the most dominating closers of the past 3 seasons for a high-end prospect in Josh Reddick who has yet to prove himself at the major league level and two other prospects who I have never heard of. Edge to the Red Sox on this one.

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      I just looked it up. The A’s play almost half their games away from Oakland.

      • missthemexpos - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        More breaking news, While the A’s play almost half their games away from home. the rest of the major league teams play about half their games at home.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:22 PM

        His ERA was about the same away as it was at home. Basically, he sucked as a closer in terms of ERA no matter where he pitched. It will only get worse, especially given that Bailey is a flyball pitcher and Fenway will be much less forgiving than was.

        Let the 9th inning HR derbies (for the visiting teams) begin in Fenway in 2012. LMAO

  4. Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Seems like an even swap, though I’d think the As would have been better going with a pure prospect package over Reddick, who’s no more than an average player.

    Bailey will help Boston’s bullpen, which looks pretty good now even without Bard or Papelbon. Bailey, Melancon, Albers, Jenks, Atchison, and Morales. With Aceves and Miller as possibilities.

    Sweeney could be platooned with Darnell McDonald perhaps, who at least can hit lefties a little. Not ideal, but perhaps a downgrade worth doing in order to improve the bullpen.

    The prospects are minor ones. Marc Hulet at FG made Head his 15th best Sox prospect, while John Sickels of has Head at 21st and Alcantara at 23rd.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      Well thought out Ari, however, I would be concerned about Bailey’s health. It also seems to me that The Red Sox need someone who can contribute 200+ innings rather than a pitcher who will pitch 70 innings. As usual, the AL East will be interesting.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM

        True, but hell, every reliever’s health is a question mark if their name isn’t Mariano. But getting a starter and getting a closer aren’t mutually exclusive. We got our closer and didn’t give up much. They’re probably not done yet.

      • xavier46 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM

        The Sox bullpen is does not take up very much of their payroll. It is quite cheap. Perhaps that extra money not spent on a pitcher who pitches 70 innings (Papelbon, Madson, etc) will then be spent on a pitcher who can toss 200+ (Kuroda or Saunders) HMMM…

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        The health is an issue, but last year, he missed time at the beginning of the season with a forearm strain. Not a generally recurring injury. I’m not saying health isn’t a concern, but I’m not too upset at it, especially since, with a more consistent health record, he would have commanded a bigger prospect haul. The Sox got to buy low here.

        And as someone listed below, Boston’s bullpen is cheap. The most expensive guy is Jenks’ $6MM, and no one else should earn $3MM. They acquired two relievers with at least three years of club control each, which should save them the money they need to get a starter this offseason or next (and, of course, next offseason has some crazy great names).

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:18 PM

        Red Sox trying to buy another title in 2013? The hypocrisy just continues to pile up. LMAO

  5. sjsharksfan11 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    LOL!!!! Can anyone even name anyone left on the A’s roster. Get rid of that pathetic sad sack franchise. High school teams draw a bigger crowd than an A’s game.

  6. kylecleric - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Good deal for both teams. Reddick is a nice upgrade, every game outfielder. Head surprisingly was a good fielder after converting to first base and has shown good power. He should begin with High A or AA for Oakland. Alcantara was probably the highest potential arm in the Sox system. He should start in low A.

    Bailey gives the Sox that closer they’ve wanted, and Sweeney as a platoon replacement for Reddick.

  7. uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Is everyone forgetting closing for the Oakland A’s in the offensively challenged AL West is a lot different than closing for the Red Sox in the offensive powerhouse of the AL East.

    I hope Red Sox fans don’t take this the wrong way but based on last year and what it now appears the Sox will do with RF the only real quality outfield starter they have is Ellsbury. Defensively that could have a major impact along with the more offensively minded teams in the AL East on Bailey’s performance in Boston.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      I get what you mean with “Based on last year”, but in all honesty if Carl Crawford has his average type year next year then the Red Sox are fine. A single bad year doesn’t mean the dudei s doomed. Carl Crawford has been a top OF for a while now, and it’d be hard to think that he won’t come back to form. They have prospects waiting in the wings for RF, so they are honestly just looking for a stop gap solution that wont be terrible.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        My friend I would fully expect him to have a better year than last year. How much better is the question. But my comment about Crawford wasn’t only meant for his offense. It was meant for his defense and to be fair he just didn’t look good last year in the field. And that I’m not sure is going to get much better. It’s a completely different situation then he was used to in Tampa.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM

        hammy conveniently ignores the fact that while Crawford may rise somewhat from his horrible 2011, so will Ellsbury drop off from his equally uncharacteristic 2011 production, thereby balancing out the overall gain.

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      If only there was a way we could analyse the raw numbers and make an educated guess as to what how the player would play in a neutral setting.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      True, but it’s not like Bailey isn’t good, with a career K/9 over 9. Papelbon and Mariano may be the two best closers in the game. You can survive with less than that.

      As far as the outfield…my not so bold prediction for 2011 is that Crawford is gonna rebound some while Ellsbury regresses some. JD Drew was awful all year, and Reddick was OK. Bringing in a good defender, with a .340 OBP and no power is OK with me. We did score the most runs in MLB last year, so I’m fine with what may be a slight offensive downgrade to shore up an area of more pressing need.

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Exactly. I mean, Kalish has been the RF heir apparent for years, and if he didnt get hurt last year he’d be starting for them in 2012. They just need someone who wont make a fool of himself, thats all.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        You talk about Bailey and his career numbers like he’s pitched for 7 or 8 years and has 500 or 600 innings under his belt.

        He’s pitched exactly 174 innings over 3 seasons (83.1 / 49 / 41.2) respectively. Each year fewer than the year before.

        I’m not sure that those are career numbers you can hang your hat on. And like I said those on numbers accumulated while pitching in the AL West not the more offensive minded AL East.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM

        Yeah, health is a concern. It is with every reliever, Bailey probably moreso, I understand that. But I think 174 innings with a K rate over 9 per 9 innings is enough for us to conclude that he has strikeout stuff. Yeah, he was in the AL West, but again, there’s a lot between Mariano Rivera and Brandon Lyon. He’ll survive even if he’s not one of the top few closers in baseball (which he still could be). And we didn’t give him a 4 year, 50 million dollar deal to him either, we just traded expendable depth.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        baseballisboring – the only thing I would caution about is it remains to be seen how is strike out stuff will translate to his new surroundings and against his new opponents over an entire year.

        I have to say when I read your last comment it doesn’t seem like the Red Sox made themselves much better with the trade. It seems to me to be mostly a wash.

        This is just my opinion but I think the Red Sox are really missing the boat by not upgrading their starting rotation. And please don’t misunderstand this but again in my opinion hoping that Bard and/or Aceves can transition into the starting rotation is not what they need.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        Ari Collins nailed the part about Bailey right below this, but who says they’re not still looking for a starter? It’s getting late in the offseason but Jackson’s still out there, Kuroda and Oswalt are still out there…I’m not at all convinced they’re not looking for a starter. And I’m definitely not saying I’m not concerned about our rotation depth, either. Just sayin’, I like the Bailey deal.

      • xavier46 - Dec 29, 2011 at 1:35 AM

        Correct, he hasn’t pitched 7 or 8 years. He’s pitched 3. 2009 AL ROY and 2 time all star; a pretty good start of a career by anyones standards. And he is 21/21 in save opportunities against his new AL East opponents. A good haul for the Sox, who didn’t give up any players who projected into their lineup the next few years. Reddick is an average player.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      uyf1950 is always polite; however as a Yankee fan he has no reason to be concerned about this trade.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:26 PM

      Bailey will only have to pitch against one offensive powerhouse, because he’s pitching for the other one. And he never had to face the offensively-challenged As, because he was pitching for them. He’ll face more Jays, Yanks, Os, and Rays, and less Rangers, Mariners, and Angels. Sure, it’s a difference, but it’s not like he’s never faced DHs before or something.

      • xavier46 - Dec 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM

        Bailey have never blown a save against the Yanks, Jays, Os or Rays… 21 for 21… So much for that theory

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:20 AM

        Ari, you must have forgotten that the Blue Jays and Orioles both scored more runs had more RBI’s had a higher slugging percentage and OBP than the Mariners and Angels last season.

        So please don’t say that the Red Sox and the Yankees are the only 2 teams in the AL East that are more offensive minded and yes offensive powerhouses then the AL West. That plus generally speaking the ballparks in the AL East are more hitter friendly then the West Coast parks and I’m not sure his numbers will necessarily translate as well as some may think over a full season when approximately the Red Sox face the Yankees, Jays and O’s 54 times versus roughly the 20 times the A’s met those same teams in a season while he pitched for them.

        Just a quick mention about hitter friendly parks. According to ESPN Park Factors. For Runs Scored: Fenway is ranked 3rd, Rogers Centre 4th, Yankees Stadium is ranked 6th, Camden Yards 12th. The home fields for Oakland, Mariners or Angels are ranked no higher than 20th. As for Home Runs, Yankees Stadium, Rogers Center and Camden Yards all rank higher than the AL West home fields except for the Rangers park.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:40 AM

        xavier – while your 21 for 21 is correct. Let me point out something as just an example to show how misleading that number is. Did you realize that in 2011 Bailey was 3-0 in saves versus the Yankees. Did you also realize that in each of those 3 games he came in the 9th inning with a 3 run lead. The maximum a closer can start an inning with and still get a save. Did you also realize that in each of those games he allowed 1 earned run. And in 2011 and in his 4 total appearances (4 total innings) verses the Yankees last year he had a 6.75 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and a .267 BAA versus the Yankees and gave up 2 HR’s.

        Many times on this site I have seen and read various posters comment how saves are virtually a useless stat to evaluate a pitchers performance, the numbers I mentioned above should clearly show that to be the case with Bailey. I think that’s even more true when you consider the very small sample size anyone has to judge Bailey’s performance. That’s just my opinion.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        Yes, but those same tiny sample sizes indicate that it’s pretty meaningless to look at his splits versus the AL East.

        The non-Sox AL East scored 9% more runs than the non-As AL West. Not a huge difference, and 9% is still overstating it, as it would be the difference if Bailey were ONLY facing the AL East instead of ONLY the AL West. While it’s an unbalanced schedule, Boston plays most of its games outside the division, as did the As.

        Point is, sure, there’s reasons to be concerned about Bailey. Mostly health, although he hasn’t had a major injury since 2009. But as to the changing environ, there are plenty of stats that already account for the difference in quality of competition and ballpark, and they say that even after you adjust Bailey’s numbers a bit, he’s still excellent. And the situation is cateogrically not “a lot different”.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

        Ari, yes, the Red Sox play many of their games outside the division they still play 72 games within the division and most of those 72 games are played in ball parks that are much more friendly then when he pitched for the A’s. And when you add in the games Boston will play in Arlington and Comerica Park 2 other top 10 hitter friendly parks. I’m tempted to say Bailey will pitch at least 50% of his games in very hitter friendly parks in 2012 versus about 25% in 2011. Those numbers aren’t exact but they are probably pretty close.

        Listen is Bailey good. If you can base your opinion on 174 innings over just 3 seasons you would have to say yes. But there are many questions that have to be answered. 1st) He obviously has health issues. Considering he has pitched only roughly 40+ innings each of the past 2 years. 2nd) How will he transition from the AL West to the much tougher AL East. 3rd) How will he react to the MUCH higher expectations and pressure of playing for and in Boston as opposed to playing for the A’s.

        And Boston’s ownership, management and fans won’t have the answers to those questions for several months if not more.

  8. gmc173 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    So who is still in the market for a closer? Is it just the Reds?

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:45 PM

      Looks like Madson waited too long…to think he had 4/44 on the table like a month and a half ago.

    • dwrek5 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:38 PM

      Cards maybe? Still have some Pujols money left, seem content with the bats, cant create an opening in the rotation, may leave some cash for a closer or at least solid reliever.

  9. sandpiperair - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    The last closer the Sox brought over from Oakland worked out pretty well for them. Anybody remember that guy?

    • offseasonblues - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      My bucket list includes bumping into him somewhere and buying him a beer. He should have been the Series MVP.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:13 PM

        Hear hear.

  10. Ben - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I’m don’t love Melancon, but the two moves the Sox have made definitely shores up their bullpen. With the Yankees seemingly sitting pat these moves could make a big difference.

    • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM

      Keep dreaming, idiot Boston fan. The Yankees won the AL East last season and are getting younger, while the Red Sox slowly fade into oblivion.

  11. reospeedwagon916 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Will the last major league player on the A’s please turn out the lights?

  12. bobdira - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Aren’t the sox just about where they were before Papelbon left? As a Rays fan it looks like they’ll beat the red sox about 12 times out of 18 again next year.

    • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      Not even close to where they were before Papelbon. Neither Melancon, Bailey or any other bullpen guy on the Red Sox can hold a candle to what Papelbon brought to the Red Sox.

      You are correct about the Rays beating them 12 of 18 next season though. LMAO

    • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      About where they were, except that their relievers are younger and cheaper. And Bard’s trying his hand at starting.

  13. jkay1818 - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    HammyofDoom, I have been reading your 1000 comments and biting my tongue, but i can’t take it anymore. Crawford going back to one of the top OF’s in baseball? when was this? Also, you don’t return to becoming a good fielder. he is good at tracking down balls bc of his speed, but he is one atrocious fielder with balls hit at him and in front of him and getting a jump on angles.
    More importantly, you mentioned this more than once. WHAT farm team do you speak of in boston? They have the most depleted farm in the majors….thanks to the boy genius theo. You are preaching on here as if you received one of the most dominant closers on the planet. i bet you a ton that last yr or the yr before that if you named the top closers in baseball bailey didnt roll off your tongue.

    • JBerardi - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      “They have the most depleted farm in the majors….thanks to the boy genius theo.”

      Where on earth did you get that idea? It’s not even close to true.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM

        Yeah, that’s why most of the early raters of farm teams have the Red Sox farm system in the second tier of all MLB clubs (while the Yankees rank in the top 5…and #2 in one set of rankings). Keep on telling yourself otherwise though, BacardiDrunk.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:15 PM

        BacardiDrunk is your mocking name for JBerardi? Really?

    • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM

      Few people agree with you that Crawford wasn’t one of the top OFs in baseball before last year.

      Similarly, Boston’s farm system was depleted by trades, but they had excellent drafts the last two years, and most prospect experts have them ranked in the top half of baseball.

      … or we could believe your analysis.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        Most prospect experts have them far below their chief rivals, the Yankees and the Rays…and dropping every year. Baseball America’s ranking are still a couple of months away but they will confirm what I have posted above. The Red Sox are selling the farm, desperately trying to get back to the WS…but they are just too old. Meanwhile, the Yankees will just be getting younger as the years go by, feeding off of their own top prospects that Cashman so wisely resisted trading away in the proposed Santana deal, as well as in other proposed deals for pitching. One more decent showing by the current Yankee rotation and then it will be time for the B&B show to hit the Bronx. Maybe sooner if any of the current guys falters. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will have to wait to see if Slackey can somehow return to form after TJ surgery…and also hope that Buchholz can figure out how to do the same after his most recent problems.

      • rjostewart - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:37 PM

        It’s a minor point, but I actually don’t think their farm system is so depleted. It might lack top-shelf, surefire stars other than Bogaerts, but it makes up for that in depth. Lavarnway, Swihart, Cecchini, Brentz, Jacobs, Middlebrooks and Bradley all project as “solid regulars” at the least. Some of them are trade bait (Middlebrooks in particular), but that’s all right to some extent.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM

        Once again, a Red Sox fan assumes that other teams will want their mediocre talent in return for a top-shelf player. Not gonna happen on a regular basis, even if every once in a while some team does capitulate on such a trade. Depth won’t win titles…superstars win titles, particularly on the pitching front…something that your team isn’t very deep in right now. Hilarious, given how great your fan base thought your pitching rotation was just a few short years ago. Funny how things change in the blink of an eye. Looks like the Yankees’ strategy of drafting pitching, pitching and more pitching will pan out in the near term though. Cashman is 10X the GM that Theo could ever dream of having been…and will make Cherington look like the babe in the woods that he really is. Theo was smart to jump ship at the right time though…even though he had to punk his own hometown team to save his own hide. LMAO

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:35 PM

        Yanks and Rays have top systems (and the Jays might be better than either), but that doesn’t mean that Boston’s is bad. BA has repeatedly stated that Boston is an above-average system, if you read their prospect chats. Their rankings will confirm this.

        I wouldn’t be too optimistic about the Yankees’ pitching prospects. Pitching prospects have a way of flaming out. For example: Joba, Hughes, and Ian Kennedy were supposed to be the next great pitchers, and Kennedy was supposed to be the far lesser of the trio. For an even more recent Yankee example, it was originally the killer Bs of Banuelos, Betances… and Brackman. Brackman was unceremoniously cut loose this offseason.

        Not to pick on the Yankees here (Casey Kelly and Anthony Renaudo took steps back last year), and I think Banuelos in particular is an excellent prospect. But pitching prospects will break your heart, and I just wouldn’t be getting your hopes up too much that a whole new era of young pitching is beginning in the Bronx.

      • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

        Hate to bust your bubble, Ari…but the 2012 Baseball America rankings will drop the Red Sox like hot potatoes to the middle of the pack….if not lower. Other ranking systems already have and BA will soon follow. As for the Yankees pitching prospects “breaking their hearts”, they have more than enough in reserve to balance out the losses. For every Brackman, they just plug in two more younger guys to bring up the ranks. The Red Sox have nothing by comparison. The Yankees have drafted very wisely over the last few years and have used very little in trade bait to tweak the roster over same time span. And that also goes for position players, where they have studs like Heathcott and Dante Bichette’s kid tearing it up in the minors, soon to be ready for their own callups. Again, the Red Sox cannot compare and will be reduced to doing exactly what the Red Sox fans have accused the Yankees of doing for so long…buying free agents in a vain attempt to buy a title. Give it a couple of years and the Red Sox payroll will exceed the Yankees’ on the salary list. Thereby making complete hypocrites of the Red Sox faithful…that is, those who haven’t jumped off of the 2004 bandwagon yet. LMAO

      • Ari Collins - Dec 29, 2011 at 1:25 AM

        It’s amazing how you know more about what Baseball America thinks than they do themselves, considering they have repeatedly stated that Boston is an above-average farm system. Find me a prospect expert who thinks they’re even below average, let alone “the most depleted farm in the majors”.

        Learn a little something about prospect ranking before you mouth off about it. You just sound like a homer who has no ability to appreciate baseball in any way other than trashing teams you don’t like.

      • skeleteeth - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:50 AM

        I used to think this guy was just trolling.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

        Ari, the most recent baseball america rankings of MLB teams farm systems that I can find is dated March 23, 2011. I’m curious if have know of or have a more recent one.
        Based on your comment and I quote “…Baseball America thinks than they do themselves, considering they have repeatedly stated that Boston is an above-average farm system.”

        Like I said the most recent one I find is dated 3/23/11 and it ranks the Red Sox farm system 17 out of 30 teams. I’m not sure that qualifies as an “above-average farm system”.

        Here is the link:

      • Ari Collins - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        As I said, it’s in their prospect chats. Feel free to look those up, or wait for the official rankings to come out early next year.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Ari, thank you. But I prefer to wait until something official comes out.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Yeah, fine if you don’t want to bother looking up BA’s opinion. But don’t call Boston’s farm system below average according to BA. Because it’s not.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        Ari, you appear to be awfully sensitive about the issue. I would point out I never said to quote your words “But don’t call Boston’s farm system below average according to BA. Because it’s not.”

        Here is my EXACT comment and I quote “Like I said the most recent one I find is dated 3/23/11 and it ranks the Red Sox farm system 17 out of 30 teams. I’m not sure that qualifies as an “above-average farm system”.”

        How in the world you get your response from what I actually said is beyond me. I merely stated facts based on the ONLY official and most recent listing by baseball america of the farm systems of the MLB teams. And based on that list the Red Sox farm system is clearly NOT above average. In fact it would appear to be fairly average.

        Can the listing change the next time baseball america publishes their listing? SURE. Will it change substantially one way or another? I have no idea. And unless someone is psychic or has some inside information as to baseball america’s next list they don’t know either.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:43 PM

        Ari Collins… OWNED by uyf.

        Follow your own advice about learning about things before you mouth off.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 7:22 PM

        Boston #19 here:

        Boston at #18 here:

        Boston #14 here:

        And as uyf noted earlier, BA has the Red Sox at #17.

        So, like I said earlier…your team’s farm system SUCKS. You can eat your crow now.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      I dont think the Sox have a fantastic farm system, but I know what they do have. I never said he was one of the most dominant closers ever (coming from a guy who absolutely hates the role of a “closer”. Hes a pitcher with injury problems who has had a great ERA for 3 years, granted last years was way higher than his first two years. The big deal here is he was CHEAP and the Sox were not going to spend money on him. I’m not preaching at all, but the Red Sox gave up next to nil for a good bullpen pitcher… its not that hard to grasp.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      And 1000 comments? I’ve been a member for like… a month and have maybe 30 messages?

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:49 PM

      swing and a miss…

  14. Jack Marshall - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    I am fairly stunned that anyone really thinks that Ryan Sweeney will be anything other than a fourth or fifth outfielder with the Red Sox. There is no way.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      Why not? They had JD Drew’s corpse out there all year. Slightly above average OBP, good defense, no power but you could do worse. That said I do hope they find a platoon partner.

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        Thats kind of how I feel, they can stay afloat with a strict platoon system in RF, with a Darnell type out there. Honestly as long as theres a good glove and a not horrible bat manning RF, I’d be happy

    • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      I don’t know. Versus righties he’s at .296/.352/.402 for his career. With plus defense and someone to mash lefties, that’s not bad. He’s not a huge downgrade from Reddick (though without the upside), and as far as punting a position goes, it’s really not that bad.

      With the available FAs out there, it wouldn’t be suprising for them to platoon him with McDonald (or another lefty masher… Andruw Jones?) and leave Kalish in AAA until he forces their hand.

      It wouldn’t shock me either if they traded for Carlos Quentin or something either, but Sweeney/McDonald isn’t “stunning,” to me.

  15. buffalomafia - Dec 28, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Maybe the Red Sox wont choke this year?

    • bozosforall - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      The answer is either “Yes” or “There is no way that they could “top” the biggest choke in sports history, which was their choke at the end of the 2011 regular season”.

      • thamel37 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:54 PM

        Bozo, did you forget the 2004 choke job? Thats just proof that you have no idea what you’re talking about and that your opinion does not matter. Not that any of your posts are taken seriously…they’re just annoying.

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        The 2011 choke job was way worse than the 2004 choke job. A whole month of choking as opposed to a week’s worth. Then again, 86 years of choking by not winning a single World Series, despite Tom Yawkey spending like a drunken sailor for most of that time could qualify as the biggest choke of all time as well. Either way, Boston is the biggest choke job organization ever.

        And I couldn’t care less what you think of my opinions, thamel…your opinion of me doesn’t matter.

    • thetruth1313 - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      Careful Thamel37!!!

      Bozo will change your name around to something childish, call you stupid and then add LOL or LMAO so we know that he laughed at his own comment!!!

      • bozosforall - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        Why bother? Every time you losers respond to my posts, it only further illuminates your pathetic insecurity as a fan base. Biggest bunch of crybabies on the planet.

  16. APBA Guy - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Always refreshing to see so many comments about the A’s. What? It’s the Red Sox being talked about, mostly. There’s a surprise.

    But then again, it’s the Red Sox in the hunt for the playoffs every year, not the A’s. ANd for good reason. In the Chron today Susan Slusser was reporting that nothing is on the agenda about the A’s at the upcoming owner’s meeting.

    So all this movement by the A’s is really about 1 thing: lowering the payroll to make a profit for the owners off of revenue sharing money, currently over $ 30M per year to the A’s. We’ve done the math in previous comments. Even with dead-last-in-attendance of 1.4M, the A’s turn a healthy profit. And by dropping the payroll that puts even more money in the owners pockets, and makes the team a more attractive target for sale and relocation.

  17. mgflolox - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Honestly, I’d rather see the A’s go all-in on young players. I’ve gotten tired of watching a bunch of 29 to 32-year-old retreads out there just auditioning for their mid-season trades to contenders. To me, there is nothing worse than watching a 70-80 win team with no upside. At least if the A’s crater this year, they’ll get a top draft pick. Maybe they can finally land a real impact player.

  18. The Baseball Gods - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Although it’s a very small sample and he won’t be facing the same batters he was because he will be on their team, Andrew Bailey’s career numbers at Fenway are not very good.

    He has a career 7.20 ERA in 5 save opportunities with a BA against of .364.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:23 PM

      Not sure where to get good team-by-team splits, but: how many IP is that, and how many saves did he blow?

      Obviously it’s a ridiculously tiny sample, and Boston’s offense is higher above average than Fenway’s park factor is, but… fun anyway.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:24 PM

        Also, what were his K/BB numbers? And if you can dig this deep, what was his BABIP?

    • JBerardi - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      Team by team splits are spectacularly useless.

  19. lostsok - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Sweeny is a superb defensive outfielder who lacks either of the two attributes that equal “value” (speed or power). Clearly speed isn’t coming, but will Fenway add the power? If so, he could be a steal.

    Bailey was on track to be a premiere closer but has settled into average. Still, for Reddick, he’s a cheap gamble.

    Reddick does have some upside, so maybe Billy Beane is trying to out-Moneyball the Sox. Time will tell, but this seems all-Boston at first glance.

  20. drewsylvania - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    This trade could work out for both teams. But Boston needed a good reliever more than they needed a potentially-good RF.

  21. buffalomafia - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Then again look who the Yanks just signed! Another Boston bust!

    On a good note the Yanks are trying to get King Felix!

    • uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:10 AM

      Don’t forget to mention that “bust” the Yankees signed was to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Hardly a major league contract.

      I’m curious as to where you got your inside information as to the Yankees trying to get King Felix. But even if they were could you blame them. He’s arguable one of the top 5 pitchers in all the Major Leagues.

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