Reliever Andrew Bailey’s days with the Red Sox could be numbered. After moving to Boston in the Josh Reddick deal with the Athletics prior to the 2012 season, Bailey has made just 49 appearances in his two seasons with the Sox. He missed most of the 2012 season with a thumb injury, then had his 2013 season end abruptly to undergo surgery to repair labrum and capsule damage in his right shoulder.
Bailey is now eligible for arbitration for his third and final year, projected to take home a salary north of $4 million. As a result, the team could opt not to tender him a contract for the upcoming season, suggests Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Bailey would enjoy continuing his career with the Red Sox, though he realizes that may not be possible:
“I’ll just wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully something will get worked out. If they take me through arbitration or not, I love the city, love the area, love the guys, and it’d be great to get the opportunity to play there again.
“I’d love to be back with Boston. I don’t really know what’s out there for me. In my mind, we’re going through arbitration until I’m notified otherwise. If that scenario happens, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m a Red Sox. I haven’t even though about those scenarios yet. Until something is on the table, you try not to think about it.”
Bailey is expected to miss the first half of the season. Meanwhile, the Red Sox were happily surprised from a number of their bullpen pieces throughout the 2013 season, namely Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Miller. While a healthy and productive Bailey would be an asset, the Red Sox have enough talent in their bullpen to move on and not have to make a $4 million gamble on a reliever heading into his 30’s.