The move that sent Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney from the Oaklans A’s to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Josh Reddick and two Class A prospects was a significant one for two teams going in opposite directions.
Oakland’s everyone-must-go approach is Boston’s gain. With Jonathan Papelbon moving on to Philadelphia, there was an opening for a closer and Bailey, a 27-year-old, two-time All-Star, is expected to do the job. Bailey, who has converted 86 percent of his save chances (with a 0.95 WHIP), was bothered by arm problems last season and is one of the many hurlers who’ve had Tommy John surgery. He has 75 saves and a 2.07 ERA and, should with the acquisition of Mark Melancon from Houston two weeks ago, bolster the late-inning staff at a very low cost.
“I’m very excited. This is where my family and I live in the offseason,” Bailey, who attended Wagner, said in a conference call Wednesday night. “Born and raised in New Jersey, spend the offseason in Connecticut. Can’t get much further than Oakland from the East Coast. Definitely excited to play baseball on the East Coast and for the Red Sox.”
For the A’s, thelatest move is a “travesty,” Monte Poole writes in the Oakland Tribune.
“The con is kaput, the game over. A's ownership, having run out of patience, isn't even pretending to care about competing, much less pleasing its fans. Dedicated first and last to themselves, the owners have upped the ante. In their desire to leave Oakland, they've stopped waiting for or pleading with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. ... They have moved into the next phase, one of such utter defiance that it stomps all over the ideals of the game.
“By trading the players who have represented Oakland in the last three All-Star games, all in a three-week span, the A's are announcing they're packing it in for 2012 and maybe even 2013. They're quitting, backing away from the 2012 season so early and so emphatically that even Pete Rose, the disgraced hit king, has to scratch his head and wonder, once again, what is the definition of 'integrity of the game.'
“… MLB has an ownership team brazenly deciding to ‘throw’ a season three months before opening day. The A's have made a series of dramatic moves over the past 20 days, effectively demolishing any pretense of trying to win and simultaneously sending the message that until they get the trade they really want — trading Oakland for San Jose — they'll just keep making a mockery of the game."