Rapid Reaction: Andrew Bailey

December, 28, 2011
12/28/11
5:45
PM ET
So the Boston Red Sox now have their closer after Ben Cherington pulled off a deal to acquire Andrew Bailey from the Oakland Athletics. A few thoughts ...

* Recently acquired reliever Mark Melancon will now serve as the setup man, leaving Bailey as the club’s closer. It also opens the door for Daniel Bard to be moved to the starting rotation.

* Bailey, 27, has 75 career saves in three seasons with Oakland. He was also the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year. He’ll have major spikes to fill in Boston in replacing Jonathan Papelbon.

* The Red Sox gave up outfielder Josh Reddick in the deal, but Boston also received outfielder Ryan Sweeney. So what do the Red Sox do in right field? Sweeney seems to be an option, as is Ryan Kalish. Sweeney,26 has played a total of 269 games in right field during his six-year career.

* Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves will likely remain as the club’s long man, a role he completed dominated last season.

* Don’t be surprised if Cherington still attempts to grab starter Joe Saunders to shore up the rotation.

* Reddick came into his own last season and proved he can handle the everyday grind when he replaced J.D. Drew in right field. He should be healthy for spring training after offseason surgery.

* A second good bullpen trade for Ben Cherington after acquiring Melancon earlier.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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