Andrew Bailey rumors: Sox will tender Bailey before deadline

Jared Wickerham

It's a surprise, but the Red Sox could certainly use Bailey once he's healthy.

There had been rumors and assumptions thrown around that the Red Sox would non-tender reliever Andrew Bailey and attempt to re-sign him to a lesser deal, but you can forget about all of that according to the New York Posts' Joel Sherman. Sherman reports that Boston will tender Bailey a deal before Monday's non-tender deadline, thanks to the short length of the commitment and the need for reliever insurance.

Given that, just last season, the Red Sox lost Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, and Andrew Miller to season-ending injuries, Boston can be forgiven for feeling they need to stash the right-hander on the disabled list until he's worked his way back from shoulder surgery. He'll likely cost around $4 million in his final year of arbitration -- Bailey made $3.9 million in 2012 and $4.1 million in 2013, both seasons shortened by injury -- so, while he would be a significant financial commitment for half-a-season for some teams, the Red Sox get his upside on the relative cheap given their budget and what else the market has to offer. It's likely more than Bailey should be getting, but the Red Sox likely don't want to risk losing him to a more attractive, incentive-laden deal elsewhere, were they to non-tender him instead. This could also suggest that the Red Sox either don't plan on approaching the $189 million luxury tax threshold, or don't care if they do, given they've been beneath it for two years and reset their penalties already.

Bailey struck out over 12 batters per nine in his 28-2/3 innings in 2013, with the only real issue in his game being homers. Working through injuries was likely the cause of that, as Bailey ended up on the disabled list more than once in 2013 before his season ended for good, and he was often at his worst when his fastball velocity just couldn't get to where it needed to be. If his shoulder is fully healthy come mid-season, Bailey is a formidable weapon to add to the bullpen, either to improve what's already in place or as a replacement for what, at this point, feels like the inevitable reliever injury.

Should Bailey be tendered, the Red Sox will stash him on the 60-day disabled list at the first available opportunity in the spring. As it stands, their bullpen is currently anchored by Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and the returning Andrew Miller, as well as the recently acquired Burke Badenhop. The Red Sox also have veteran lefty Franklin Morales at their disposal, in addition to young arms like Drake Britton, Alex Wilson, Brayan Villarreal, and the likes of Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa, should the Sox convert them to relief permanently by Opening Day.

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