Andrew Bailey threw just 28 2/3 innings in 2013 and is likely to miss the first half of the 2014 season while in recovery mode from shoulder surgery. But the Red Sox don’t want to cut ties with him just yet.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post heard from a source Sunday that Boston will tender a contract to the 29-year-old right-hander, who made $4.1 million this summer and is arbitration-eligible for the third time in his career this winter. Bailey is likely to command a salary just under $4.5 million — which isn’t bad money if he makes a full recovery and returns to form down the stretch.
The non-tender deadline is Monday. It doesn’t seem like there will be many notable ones this year.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.