Andrew Bailey “real close” to making Red Sox debut

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Andrew Bailey has been on the disabled list all season following a spring training thumb injury, but the Red Sox reliever is on the verge of returning after making back-to-back Triple-A appearances Wednesday and Thursday.

Overall on his minor-league rehab assignment Bailey has allowed one run in five innings with a 9/1 K/BB ratio and Justin Albers of MLB.com reports that his fastball was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour, so performance-wise he certainly looks ready to face big-league hitters again.

Or as Bailey put it in a radio interview with WEEI: “I feel real close.”

Bailey was acquired from the A’s for Josh Reddick and two prospects in December after serving as Oakland’s closer for the past three seasons, but it’s unclear if manager Bobby Valentine will immediately throw him into the ninth-inning role or stick with Alfredo Aceves as closer.

Reds, Raisel Iglesias agree to three-year contract

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The Reds announced on Wednesday that the club and pitcher Raisel Iglesias agreed to a three-year contract. Iglesias had been on a seven-year, $27 million contract signed in June 2014 and had two years with $10 million remaining. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the new contract is worth $24.125 million, so it’s a hefty pay raise for Iglesias.

Iglesias, who turns 29 years old in January, has gotten better every season pitching out of the Reds’ bullpen. In 2018, he posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 saves and an 80/25 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. Over his four-year career, the right-hander has 64 saves with a 2.97 ERA and a 359/106 K/BB ratio in 321 2/3 innings.

Iglesias gets little fanfare pitching for the Reds, fifth-place finishers in each of his four years, but he is certainly among baseball’s better relievers. Signing him to a new three-year deal gives them some certainty at the back of the bullpen in the near future.

There was a bit of confusion regarding his previous contract, which allowed him to opt out and file for arbitration if eligible. Iglesias has three years and 154 days of service time, so his new contract essentially covers his arbitration-eligible years.