According to Buster Olney, Andrew Bailey is headed to Boston in a trade that will send Josh Reddick, Raul Alcantara, and Miles Head to Oakland . Bailey becomes the answer to the hole at closer left by Jonathan Papelbon, and with Mark Melancon should form the foundation of the bullpen for the next few years.
Bailey, 27, has acted as Oakland's closer since 2009--his rookie year. While his 2011 campaign was his worst yet, he still produced a 3.24 ERA, and has never had his FIP stray above 3.00. Though Oakland likely helps some there, he's not been the victim of too many homers on the road either. Besides, one needs look no further than the last man to hold the position to know that a fly ball closer can work in Fenway Park.
Also part of the deal is outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who should help to replace Josh Reddick in right. Sweeney, 26, isn't terribly exciting, but he's a reliable sort at the plate who can reach base with some consistency and perhaps even add some power in Fenway. While it would be a bit surprising to see him as the sole starter come April, he's not a bad piece of the puzzle.
The undercard to the deal is not to be ignored, unfortunately. Raul Alcantara is a very interesting young arm, albeit about as unproven as you can be, while Miles Head has intriguing power and showed it between Greenville and Salem last year. We may never hear from either of them again, but Alcantara, at least, is the sort of guy I'd prefer the Red Sox hold onto.
Still, the Sox have added a proven closer, and not taken too much of a hit in right field doing so. With so little money involved, it keeps Boston's budget open as it can be to add some rotation help, too. All-in-all, a good move from Ben Cherington and the Sox.