Oakland closer Andrew Bailey took another step in the right direction on Saturday in Arizona.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the right-handed reliever tossed 18 pitches in an extended spring training game and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-injured right forearm. He touched 94 mph with his fastball and recorded four outs.
Bailey is now headed back to Oakland to meet with team physicians for a reevaluation. If his arm checks out fine, it’s likely that he will be shipped off to one of the Athletics’ minor league affiliates early this week to begin a rehab assignment.
Bailey has been on the disabled list since the start of the regular season. Once healthy, he should almost immediately reclaim ninth inning duties from Brian Fuentes, who tallied his ninth save last week.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”