The Yankees haven’t had a backup plan for David Robertson in case he falters at closer, or even gets injured. Setting up Robertson might be an issue as well. Shawn Kelley is unproven in that position. The Yankees added former Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Thornton to go along with prospects Dellin Betances and Cesar Cabral. Well, the Yanks added one more former Red Sox reliever in former all-star closer Andrew Bailey.
Bailey was signed to a minor-league deal tonight. The New Jersey native will get a contract worth $2.5 million, including a option for 2015 and a buyout according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. He’s rehabbing a torn labrum and shoulder capsule and won’t be able to pitch until the middle of the season. Bailey dealt with two injury-plagued seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired for Josh Reddick before the 2012 season.
Bailey, while with Oakland, had a 2.07 ERA and 75 saves from 2009-2011. He also had 174 strikeouts in 174 innings.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward move for the Yankees. If he regains his Oakland form, a combination of Robertson and Bailey in the eighth and ninth makes the Yankees bullpen much stronger and deeper. I had been an advocate of the Yankees adding Bailey all off-season long, and they finally pulled the trigger on the move.
The Yankees still could use some help in the bullpen, and while Bailey could help later on in 2014, the Yankees should still consider adding one more piece to it.