I have a natural bias against acquiring relief pitching but there are always a few good things that you can say about just about any move. Hey, we all found the positive in a Miguel Olivo signing last year at this time. We talked about the fact he mashed lefties, hit for power that wouldn’t be hindered by Safeco and had a cannon for an arm that could potentially negate how terrible of a receiver he was.
Obviously we got hit by the reality truck shortly there after but that said there are some good things that we can focus on in just about any deal, just ask Blue Jay fans.
So let’s talk about one of the more odd persistant rumors out there in the country and that would be Andrew Bailey. Bailey oddly enough keeps being contected with the Mariners and while initially I was right with Jason Churchill in the mindset that they just were keeping tabs on him being they most likely (and sadly enough) had League on the market. It was either that or, being that Texas was interested, they were just attempting to drive up the price.
The problem with that theory is that it’s been going on for about roughly 3 weeks. I’m personally going out on a limb and say that I think there is sufficient interest by the front office at this point. Again, that’s just my opinion. I am frequently wrong and corrected all the time by multiple people smarter than me.
The question then begs to be asked, why would the Mariners have interest in Bailey? I’ve asked myself that repeated question for the better part of a week and the only way I could really answer it for myself was to go Liz Lemon and create a pro’s-n-con’s sheet.
Feel free to contribute if you feel I’ve left anything off.
He has a history of injuries and last year saw him lose a mile and half off his average fastball velocity.
The cost to acquire him not to mention he comes from a division rival and that cost will go towards helping them beat us.
He is entering arbitration this year so he will start getting expensive, more so being that he has the right stats to back up the pay check.
He would have the best stuff coming out of our bullpen regardless of if we held onto League or not.
He is club controlled for three more years.
He has the potential to be one of the most valued closers in baseball at a smaller yearly cost than Brandon League.
If he reestablishes his value he has the potential to bring back more than what the Mariners will give up to acquire him.
If Brandon League was dealt he’d be the perfect guy to be the replacement for the end of game role, while the Mariners sort out what they have in Tom Wilhelmsen, Dan Cortes and Chance Ruffin not to mention those not to far off themselves in guys like Forrest Snow, Stephen Pryor and Tyler Burgoon.
Overall the cons are few and the pro’s are many. But, the few cons that they are rather gargantuan in size as you consider that the A’s reportedly asked for Martin Perez, Chris Davis and another ‘above average’ pitching prospect at the trade deadline for Bailey last year. We’d be taking something like James Paxton, Carlos Peguero and Erasmo Ramirez in comparison and I don’t know if that’s good enough example as both Perez and Davis are better than Paxton/Peguero. Not to mention that Ramirez probably isn’t an “above average” pitching prospect.
The A’s aren’t going to give up Bailey for scraps yet considering the injuries the last two years his value, in my estimation, is only slightly higher than League’s based upon the fact that he has 3 years of club control. The control is huge despite what he’s going to earn through arbitration because of his overall ability.
Personally, I think Bailey would be a heck of a fit in Boston, but their farm system has been knocked down a few pegs and while it still has some solid pieces, it’s not what it was even two years ago.
Like I said previously, it’s not necessarily about whether you advocate for trading for relief help or not, whether you’d rather trade for bat instead or not. We all know the biggest need of the club is hitting, but if you can invest in a long term asset that has the potential to give you a huge pay day on the current market two or three years down the road while still being of surplus value in terms of cost and production, it makes sense to at least be interested and keep tabs on the situation.