Sources: Red Sox land closer Bailey

December, 28, 2011
12/28/11
5:23
PM ET
The Boston Red Sox have acquired Oakland closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney in a trade that sends outfielder Josh Reddick to the Athletics, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

Bailey compiled 24 saves last year in Oakland to go along with a 3.24 ERA -- the highest earned run average in the right-hander's three years in the majors.

By acquiring Bailey, the Red Sox replace former closer Jonathan Papelbon who joined the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason as a free agent.

To complete the deal, the Red Sox will also send third baseman Miles Head, 20, and 19-year-old pitcher Raul Alcantera to Oakland, according to sources.

A few of Olney's follow-up thoughts:

* Red Sox have an inexpensive bullpen; you wonder if they'll now spend available cash to land a needed starting pitcher (Hiroki Kuroda? Joe Saunders?)

* I think as the winter went along, Oakland's market for Bailey shriveled up, with all of the free-agent relievers available. Injury history a factor,too.

And a couple of thoughts from ESPN's Jim Bowden on the deal:

* The Red Sox can now have Mark Melancon set-up Bailey and move Daniel Bard to the rotation. Solid plan. Solid execution by rookie GM Ben Cherington.

* Red Sox can now turn their attention to Hiroki Kuroda or Joe Saunders to solidify back of the starting rotation.

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