December 28, 2011

Red Sox add Andrew Bailey, GM is #winning

New closers keep coming to Boston while the Yankees haven't had to change in 16 years.

After losing six-year closer Jonathan Papelbon to free agency (Phillies, $50 million, 4 years with vesting option), the Red Sox weren't quite set on plugging in flamethrower Daniel Bard as the full-time closer. So they added Mark Melancon, as noted earlier today, saying he would be in the mix for the job after a strong 2011 with Houston. Just minutes ago, the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey, the Athletics' All-Star closer.

In addition to Bailey, the Red Sox get Ryan Sweeney in exchange for right fielder Josh Reddick, Miles Head, a 20-year-old 3B, and Raul Alcantera, a 19-year-old pitcher, according to Buster Olney, who first reported the news.

Obviously the Red Sox haven't declared any roles yet, but it seems likely that Bailey will assume closer duties and Melancon will be the setup man. Bard is slotted as a starter for spring training, but could move to the bullpen as needed.

Bottom line: The Red Sox have made two great deals to bring in bullpen weapons for cheap. I'd assume all the credit goes to replacement GM Ben Cherington, and I'm sure replacement manager Bobby Valentine will consider this a belated Christmas gift.

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