May 25, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Andrew Bailey (40) pitches during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Bailey Happy To Be With Yankees

Last week the Yankees signed former Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox reliever, Andrew Bailey, to a minor league contract. The deal is for one year and includes a team option for  2015. Bailey was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2009 and a 2-time All-Star for Oakland but was traded to Boston along with Ryan Sweeney for outfielder Josh Reddick and two minor league players before the 2012 season. Bailey was injured for much of his first season with the Red Sox and struggled when he did play. After the team traded for closer Joel Hanrahan in 2013, Bailey was demoted to a middle reliever until Hanrahan went down for the season. Bailey pitched well but eventually found himself on the disabled list in need of surgery after he tore his shoulder labrum. He was non-tendered by the Red Sox early in the offseason.

The Yankees could really use some late inning help and if and when Bailey is healthy he could provide just that. When asked what it feels like to switch to the other side of the rivalry Bailey said, ““I’m looking forward to wearing the colors and being out on that mound. Coming from Boston to New York is a big transition; both great fan bases with rich histories. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be here.” Bailey, who grew up rooting for the Yankees in New Jersey, went on to say that he is fully certain that he’ll pitch for his new team in 2014. “Still a long road, but I’m in a great spot, with a great opportunity, with a great organization that knows what’s ahead and is willing to walk that road with me,” Bailey said, talking about the process ahead.

At best, Bailey will be ready to pitch in the Majors again in August but he may be sidelined the whole year. This is the exact deal that any team likes, low risk with a chance for a high reward. Bailey has displayed the talent needed to be a top reliever in baseball. The 29-year-old right-hander could be a huge boost for the Yankees bullpen who find themselves without Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and the great Mariano Rivera. If Bailey does return will the opportunity to pitch for his childhood team push him to the top of his game once again? We’ll have to wait to find out…

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