By Jason Wojciechowski on December 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM
This isn't officially the Andrew Bailey Edition of the link roundup, but since that's basically the thing that happened yesterday, this is going to be pretty trade-talk-heavy. At least we can cut down on the rumors links now.
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The basic Susan Slusser story on the trade. Josh Reddick, an outfielder who has hit the majors, Miles Head, a 21-year-old (in 2012) first baseman who played at High-A, and Raul Alcantara, a 19-year-old pitcher who was in Low-A, are the return. Slusser's story mentions that the A's will be putting Head at third base, a position he played for nine games in Rookie ball, but hasn't touched since.
Also: Reddick says he's most comfortable in center, and Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour are supposedly the top candidates for 9th-inning duties in 2012. I refuse to comment on this.
Slusser's Drumbeat post on the trade mentions that the A's may not have received maximum value for Bailey because of how long the trade took. I'm not sure whether this works -- the demand decreased because more teams filled their closer spots, but the supply did as well. I don't think it's as simple as saying "fewer teams were involved."
I think there is something to be said for this:
@jlwoj well if you are looking to maximize value on an RP offseason trades are not the way to go, i think— Leonora (@leokitty) December 28, 2011
I don't know if this has been studied, but it's at the very least a hypothesis that deserves some consideration. Slusser's anonymous sources, for what it's worth, also make the point that perhaps the A's should have dealt Bailey at the deadline in 2012. Unmentioned is what the A's opinion on his arm and the possibility that it'll fall off in June might be. Ian Browne says Ben Cherington is happy with Bailey's medicals, of course.
This story also has a little more detail on the closer situation, which Slusser sets up as a pecking order: Balfour, Fuentes, Devine, with trades potentially coming in to take away the "top two." Slusser also makes the unattributed and unsupported claim that Fuentes and Balfour are "best in set-up roles." Whatever.
Oh, and finally: the A's really like Alcantara. He was the PTBNL in the nixed Rich Harden deal, and Slusser reports that the A's included Ryan Sweeney in this trade so that they could get him. That seems like a lot of faith in a pitcher who can't drink yet, but the scouts love who they love, I guess.
And here's Kevin Goldstein and R.J. Anderson ($$$) with KG of course taking the two very young guys. Summary without giving too much away: Alcantara has great upside and surprising polish for his age, and Head has great hands that keep his contact rate high for a power hitter.
David Laurila talks to Ben Crockett, Boston's director of player development, and Jim Callis about Miles Head. (His middle name does not start with an "A," sadly.) Short version: he won't sell jeans, his defense at first might suck, and he can hit. This stuff about his defense does make you wonder about moving him to third.
Mike Newman says that Head can't play defense.
Alex Speier has some stuff about the prospects, including a mention that Head signed for $335k despite being drafted in the 26th round. This implies that Boston bought him out of a college commit and valued him higher than the 26th-round pick might otherwise indicate. Anyone with other information about this is encouraged to speak up.
There's also this:
Raul Alcantara's an interesting sleeper going to Oakland. The only better pitching prospects in the GCL were Luis Heredia & Brenny Paulino.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) December 28, 2011
David Wishinsky doesn't like the trade, and brings up, among other things (go read it), the Sergio Santos trade. Call me unconvinced, though, that Bailey is "is clearly Santos's superior." Their FIPs are quite similar, and Santos has an extra year of minimum-salary status before hitting arbitration (as well, then, as an extra year of team control). This isn't to say it's a great trade, but I'm particularly hard-pressed to feel confident in my own evaluations of 20-year-olds who haven't even hit Double-A yet. Given how jazzed the A's are about Alcantara and the fact that they at least want to give Head a shot at third base, this is perhaps even more a wait-and-see deal than usual.
Dan Hennessey thinks the trade netted fair value for the A's based on John Sickels's evaluations of the two young guys. He also says, though, that the A's will win 71 games instead of 74 without Bailey. The spirit of this is right, of course -- the A's aren't contending next year one way or the other (beliefs of certain parties on Twitter notwithstanding), and losing Bailey doesn't change that -- but I cannot see Bailey being worth three wins over Grant Balfour or Joey Devine or even Brian Fuentes or Fautino The Mormon.
Internet Homie Matt Kory gets a link for the simple reason that he quoted El Perro del Mar. She's not even that awesome, but it's a reference you don't see terrifically often on baseball blogs.
In the falling-dominoes category, Jeff Sullivan thinks Brandon League won't be going anywhere now that the Red Sox don't need a closer, and now that we see that the A's didn't get a big package of studs for Bailey.
This piece says Andrew Bailey is not 100% healthy, but I have no idea what that means. It also asks how many RBIs Mike Stanton might have this year. Ahem.
Jeff Sullivan has a look at Balfour, Devine, and The Mormon as closer candidates. It has some Sullivan-y jokes and some gifs, but it also has actual analysis. I'd ride Devine until he gets hurt and then give it to FDLS, on the assumption that Balfour has already been traded.
Well, actually, I'd run a much more optimal bullpen and not have my best pitcher protecting three-run leads against the 6-7-8 hitters of the Orioles, but putting that aside, I'd go with Devine.
Mariners fans pity us. And worse, it's probably fair. Well, except for two small things: first, the A's haven't really been rebuilding since 2006; second, I'd say that Kurt Suzuki is, both before and after the Andrew Bailey trade, the A's most marketable player, not Bailey. He's a pretty big fan favorite, and he's not bad.
In non-Bailey A's stuff Joseph Lopez calls out Bob Geren for all the usual stuff and cites all the usual evidence: none.
Prompted by Tommy Milone, Carson Cistulli takes a look at strikeout rate vs. fastball velocity. The results, even for a lefty, aren't terribly encouraging for Milone. On the other hand, if Milone manages an almost-average strikeout rate and an absurdly low walk rate, that's a good pitcher. Of course, if he doesn't walk anyone but his BABIP and HR/FB reflect those of a batting-practice pitcher who can hit the zone with his pitches but not do much else, then that's not very good.
Finally, Jeremy Blachman has a list of the A's future trades, which includes acquiring Dustin Pedroia in 2026, after he has married into the Obama family. I kinda think Pedroia is a Republican, though.