Oakland, however, is unlikely to have Bailey as their closer by the start of the season. With the season less than three weeks away, Bailey probably won’t be ready in time. Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the A’s will likely rely on new bullpen additions Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour to pick up the slack during Bailey’s absence.
While Lee suggests that the A’s will probably favor a “closer-by-committee” approach while Bailey is out, it is still possible that Fuentes takes over Bailey’s duties temporarily.
Then again, the A’s do have a very strong bullpen behind Bailey. Guys like Balfour, Brad Ziegler, Craig Breslow, and Michael Wuertz are all solid relievers. Any one of them could assume the closer role.
Whichever route the A’s decide to go, I think the bullpen is strong enough to absorb Bailey’s temporary absence.
What do you think? Who should fill in for the A’s closer job? Hit the comments below!