Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting on Twitter that the Yankees are close to a deal with reliever Andrew Bailey. Exact details of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet.
Update: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that it is a minor league deal “stacked with incentives”. He adds that the Major League side of the deal is worth $2.5 million and includes an option and a buyout for the 2015 season.
Bailey, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox. In 2012, he missed the first 116 games of the season after undergoing surgery on his right thumb to repair the ulnar collateral ligament. He returned in August but struggled, posting a 7.04 ERA in 15 1/3 innings through the end of the season. In 2013, he started off strong but went on the disabled list in late April with a strained right biceps. In mid-July, he went on the shelf again, then underwent surgery on the 24th to repair the labrum and capsule in his right shoulder. He won’t be ready for the start of the 2014 regular season, but he is expected to return by mid-season.
Bailey does have a worrying injury history, but when he has been healthy, he has been effective. He won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2009 with the Athletics, saving 26 games and posting a 1.84 ERA. The Yankees are hoping the right-hander can recapture some of that magic.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.