Daily Links - Andrew Bailey, Andrew Bailey (Matt Cain, Jon Lester), and Andrew Bailey

Before he ever threw an official pitch for the Boston Red Sox Andrew Bailey got hurt. As you probably heard -- it was the thumb ligament that snapped around the world after all -- Bailey will need the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb "reconstructed" after injuring it at some time and in some place.

First of all, gross. Second, that will leave him on the sidelines for upwards of four months which would bring him back just following the trade deadline. The injury itself won't hold him out for four months, but he'll need time to work back into game shape. There is some grey area there though. For instance, the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman says Bailey could be out until September. Let's hope not.

I should note here that I am trying desperately not to snark about Bailey getting injured while rehabbing, injured while having surgery or getting hurt from being injured. It's tough. Anyway. My point: GM Ben Cherington addressed the Bailey and Josh Beckett situations publicly yesterday.

Back to Bailey: it's hard to miss what you never had and while the Red Sox were counting on Bailey to anchor the back of their pen, they do have other pitchers who can step in and hold down the proverbial fort while Bailey works his way back. Marc addressed this yesterday here at OTM though in the glut of content you may have missed it. The upshot is there are options, and not all of them are bad. This injury combined with the decision to let Jonathan Papelbon go to Philadelphia means the Sox may have an unsettled closer situation for the first time since 2003. But no that doesn't mean letting Paps walk was a bad call and Bailey's injury doesn't mean that either.

One option is not repeat NOT Daniel Bard. Over at the Globe Nick Carfardo has written that the smart thing to do would be to move Bard back into the closers role and stop all this foolishness forthwith. There are obviously thousands of problems with that, the most obvious being that the Red Sox have planned to put Bard in the rotation all winter long. He prepared as such and come to camp as such, and pulling the rug out from under him now seems... reactionary. It is reactionary. The Globe's Peter Abraham is on my side here, writing that moving Bard now is a bad idea. And it is. It is a bad idea.

The decision to move Bard into a starting role along with Felix Doubront's move into a spot in the rotation could have a long term impact on the Red Sox payroll. We hope it has a long term impact on the Red Sox payroll. Brian MacPherson investigates at the Providence Journal.

Bailey isn't the only Red Sox player to come down with an owie. The list is indeed a long and distinguished one and we haven't even seen a pitch thrown in real anger yet. WEEI.com's Alex Speier takes a look at the list of walking and non-walking wounded.

As you may have heard, there were some huge contract extensions signed over the past few days. Joey Votto's deal makes the Adrian Gonzalez deal look as cheap as a $154 million contract extension can look, but the one we're concerned with is the Giants handing Matt Cain $127 million. This will impact the market for starting pitching and the Red Sox biggest and bestest starting pitcher is Jon Lester. Lester's deal is up in three years (including this one) so there is time to work something out if indeed both sides want to do so. Still, the landscape has undoubtedly changed. Rob Bradford investigates.

Finally, a few quickies:

If you want to know what Theo Epstein has got himself into, according to Fan Graphs it's the 14th best organization in baseball.

At Baseball Prospectus, Doug Thorburn has an illuminating look at pitcher mechanics.

Over at Hardball Talk, the peeps have penned a big introductory article on every team in baseball. While you should read them all, you should certainly read the one on the Red Sox.

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