Now that Jonathan Papelbon is off the market thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies’ aggressive, four-year $50 million deal, teams in need of relief pitching will have to scour what’s left in the free agent market.
Entering the offseason, it’s expected that the A’s will most likely be sellers for most of the winter. Except for 2B Jemile Weeks, the A’s are figured to make all of their players available to trade.
Closer Andrew Bailey, who the A’s have under control through 2015, could be a trade target for teams in search of relievers. Rumors have been swirling around Oakland lately, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the team traded Bailey, or any other pitcher for that matter.
But because he’s under control through the 2015 season, it’s figured that Bailey’s price tag would be rather high. MLBTradeRumors.com seems to think that Bailey, if traded, could bring the A’s several well-regarded prospects in return.
One team that could be a good fit for Bailey is Toronto. The Blue Jays, who were rumored to be interested in Papelbon, could turn their attention to Bailey as the market for relievers dries up.
Oakland has plenty of big league pitching, so they’re likely to entertain any trade offers made to them. Bailey recorded 24 saves this year while posting a 3.24 ERA over 41.2 innings. The 2009 Rookie-of-the-Year has recorded 75 saves over his first three years in the big leagues and has a career 2.07 ERA.
He’s had his share of injuries, but he’s a solid closer, so he probably could bring in a nice haul for the Athletics if they decide to trade him.
Since the team isn’t ready to contend, it makes sense, at least, to me, to sell of their biggest assets as a way to prepare themselves for the future. Developing newer, younger players seems to be Oakland’s plan.
Let the fire sale commence!
What do you think? Will the A’s, as these rumors seem to suggest, trade away their best talent this winter? Sound off below!