The Athletics are widely expected to move closer Andrew Bailey this offseason and now that Heath Bell has signed with the Marlins, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Padres are just the latest team to join the mix.
The Padres have Luke Gregerson and Ernesto Frieri at the ready as two potential in-house replacements for the ninth inning, but it appears they are at least evaluating alternatives in the free agent and trade markets. It’s not clear who they would offer in a deal for Bailey, though Chase Headley or Kyle Blanks could pique the A’s interest.
While Bailey has dealt with some injuries over the past two years, he’s the owner of an impressive 2.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over his first three seasons in the big leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and remains under team control through 2014. The Blue Jays, Reds, Mariners, Mets and Rangers are among the other clubs who have reportedly expressed interest.