It's been reported that the Red Sox have agreed to trade Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantera to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. I love this deal with every fiber of my being.
First off, I am sad to see Reddick go. He was a high energy player who made good contact, and was very strong defensively. Given the opportunity I think he had the chance to develop into a pretty decent big league starting outfielder. From what I've read about Head and Alcantera, they both are young and far from the big leagues but they both have some upside. All of that, I'm willing to trade in exchange for Bailey and Sweeney.
Bailey has proven in his short MLB tenure that when healthy, he is one of the best closers in the American League. He has a strong fastball that he can command, and is much younger and cheaper than his counterpart, Jonathan Papelbon. While Sweeney is somewhat of a MLB bust, this former top prospect still has some raw physical tools and he seems like a very logical fit as a 4th outfielder (and he has a 9.0 UZR in RF).
I believe this move signifies two things for the Red Sox; 1, Daniel Bard will definitively be a member of the starting rotation along with, potentially, Alfredo Aceves (I couldn't be more excited about Bard going to the rotation either, he has the stuff and makeup to be an All-Star in that role). 2, The Red Sox are going to need to pursue a right fielder for the upcoming season. I don't anticipate the Red Sox looking for an offensive powerhouse with so many offensive weapons already in the lineup, rather a more defensive minded outfielder who can give LH/RH balance to an already lethal lineup. These factors might allow Ben Cherington to hand the job over to top prospect Ryan Kalish to see if he can handle the role, or look outside the organization for a replacement. Regardless, the future is looking bright for the Red Sox this season.
1. Jon Lester
2. Josh Beckett
3. Clay Buchholz
4. Daniel Bard
5. Alfredo Aceves
CL: Andrew Bailey
SU: Mark Melancon
Looks pretty damn good to me.
If you're interested in learning a little bit about the Red Sox prospects, head over to www.soxprospects.com, they have great writeups on the players.