Assessing the Andrew Bailey Trade Rumors

Exactly one month ago, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that, as they wait for updates regarding a new ballpark in San Jose, the Oakland A’s would listen to trade offers for any player on their roster except Jemile Weeks.

With the A’s having one of the top young closers in the game in Andrew Bailey, it’s no surprise that he’s been constantly mentioned in recent trades. In addition to the Blue Jays, various other teams have apparently shown interest in the right-hander, whose market value could very well be at its highest, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Acquiring Bailey, who is under club control through the 2014 season, would effectively put an end to the Jays’ closer carousel, but at what price? It’s one that, in his case, seems far too high.

When the Rangers were looking to acquire him prior to the trade deadline in July, they balked at Oakland’s three-player asking price that consisted of Martin Perez, Chris Davis, and “one more good minor league pitcher”. Davis, a strikeout-prone, power-hitting first baseman, tore up the minor leagues but has seen his numbers with the Rangers plummet following his rookie season in 2008. Far from the centerpiece in the Rangers’ package, Davis still likely appealed to the A’s since they were (and still are) looking to upgrade their offense in some capacity.

The package centerpiece was in fact Perez, a left-handed starter with three plus pitches who, after making it to Double-A as an 18-year-old, pitched in Triple-A this past season at the tender age of 20 years old. Though his results were inconsistent, he’s widely considered the top prospect in the Rangers’ organization, touted as a five-star prospect by Baseball Prospectus and the 24th-best in baseball heading into the season according to Baseball America.

It’s unclear as to whether or not Oakland’s asking price for Bailey remains as high as it was in July, but Blue Jays beat reporter Gregor Chisholm hinted at just that in a mailbag back on November 16.

“It will take a lot more than one good offensive prospect for a team to pry Bailey away from the A’s. Oakland reportedly has been listening to offers for its closer, but the 27-year-old right-hander is under club control for the next three seasons and the A’s are under no pressure to pull the trigger on a trade,” he wrote.

So, assuming Bailey’s asking price remains at three players and includes at least a top prospect, what kind of package could the Jays offer?

The centerpiece of any Jays package would be a top pitching prospect, likely one of Noah Syndergaard, Drew Hutchison, or Deck McGuire, with Kyle Drabek being another name despite not being considered a prospect anymore.

Outside of David Cooper, the Jays don’t have a prospect at first base that’s close to the Majors or even any power hitting prospects that could represent Oakland’s desired offensive upgrade element. The A’s have, however, been looking to add outfield depth as a way of bolstering their offense, and Eric Thames comes to mind in that regard. If the A’s were looking at a prospect farther away from the Majors, Moises Sierra or Michael Crouse could be possibilities as well.

As for the third component of a package, another “good minor league pitcher”, there’s quite an assortment of names that the Jays could include. This pitcher would likely play for a lower affiliate and be farther away from the Majors, someone like Mitchell Taylor or Griffin Murphy, or one of the arms from the Jays’ 2011 draft haul.

Regardless, a three-player package, especially if it included someone like Syndergaard or Hutchison, is too much to pay for Bailey, who would likely pitch 50-60 innings per year at most and hasn’t topped 49 since his Rookie of the Year 2009 campaign.

- JM

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  • Mylegacy

    This is what AA is talking about with trades.

    Using our “plethora of pretty prospects” (PPP for short) to OVERPAY (a bit) to get an EXACT missing piece; one who is young, talented and controllable – like Bailey. Like Bailey? As a matter of fact I LOVE Bailey’s over chocolate ice cream, the perfect parfait.

  • JaysJournal

    @Mylegacy

    To me, it makes sense for the Jays to try for both Bailey AND Gio Gonzalez. The latter has only allowed 17 hits in 31 IP at Rogers centre, where he also holds a very nice 0.949 whip and a .148 BAA. The cost may be steep, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching Alex work it’s that he’s aiming high and would rather do so without breaking the bank. Adding these 2 pitchers may cost the Jays a ton of prospects/players, but it won’t break the bank. Both will make minimal salaries as they get into their initial arbitration years, so that option may be more appealing than throwing a ton of money at Yu Darvish, for example. Gonzalez is a much better option than any other FA pitcher, imo, and he could take a nice role behind Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow, giving the Jays a nice trio of LHP/RHP/LHP at the top of the rotation.

    It wouldn’t be cheap at all in terms of prospects going Oakland’s way, but the Jays have some very attractive catching prospects, OF prospects, and young pitching prospects that would surely be very enticing to Oakland.

    One option I can foresee happening is that Colby Rasmus be included in a deal to Oakland if need be. The Jays are all but set to give Anthony Gose a look in CF within the next year, and we know that Jake Marisnick lurks closely behind him. A package centred around him could work.

    I really do believe that if the Jays don’t deal for Gio, the Yankees or Red Sox might do so, which would really hurt the Jays instead of help them along. They could still target Bailey alone, but my gut tells me that if they do deal for Bailey, they’ll try as hard as they can to land Gio as well.

    Food for thought!

  • Mylegacy

    This is what AA is talking about with trades.

    Using our “plethora of pretty prospects” (PPP for short) to OVERPAY (a bit) to get an EXACT missing piece; one who is young, talented and controllable – like Bailey. Like Bailey? As a matter of fact I LOVE Bailey’s over chocolate ice cream, the perfect parfait.

  • JaysJournal

    @Mylegacy

    To me, it makes sense for the Jays to try for both Bailey AND Gio Gonzalez. The latter has only allowed 17 hits in 31 IP at Rogers centre, where he also holds a very nice 0.949 whip and a .148 BAA. The cost may be steep, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching Alex work it’s that he’s aiming high and would rather do so without breaking the bank. Adding these 2 pitchers may cost the Jays a ton of prospects/players, but it won’t break the bank. Both will make minimal salaries as they get into their initial arbitration years, so that option may be more appealing than throwing a ton of money at Yu Darvish, for example. Gonzalez is a much better option than any other FA pitcher, imo, and he could take a nice role behind Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow, giving the Jays a nice trio of LHP/RHP/LHP at the top of the rotation.

    It wouldn’t be cheap at all in terms of prospects going Oakland’s way, but the Jays have some very attractive catching prospects, OF prospects, and young pitching prospects that would surely be very enticing to Oakland.

    One option I can foresee happening is that Colby Rasmus be included in a deal to Oakland if need be. The Jays are all but set to give Anthony Gose a look in CF within the next year, and we know that Jake Marisnick lurks closely behind him. A package centred around him could work.

    I really do believe that if the Jays don’t deal for Gio, the Yankees or Red Sox might do so, which would really hurt the Jays instead of help them along. They could still target Bailey alone, but my gut tells me that if they do deal for Bailey, they’ll try as hard as they can to land Gio as well.

    Food for thought!

  • juanguzman

    i also like bailey. one question though. with all of the great young arms in the jays system, why are they not trying to convert any to closer? i believe molina was in the bullpen and they converted him to a starter. i heard that maybe asher w. might have a future in the backend of the pen. also, what is the latest on farina? could he be an option after the 2012 all-star break?

  • juanguzman

    i also like bailey. one question though. with all of the great young arms in the jays system, why are they not trying to convert any to closer? i believe molina was in the bullpen and they converted him to a starter. i heard that maybe asher w. might have a future in the backend of the pen. also, what is the latest on farina? could he be an option after the 2012 all-star break?

  • EarlNash

    OR, maybe a deal with the REDS?

    REDs are intersted in Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey; Gio would give them a #1 slot SP and Bailey would give then a proven MLB closer. The A’s need offense and have some holes to fill in the OF, 3b, 1b. Alonso fills the 1b slot; hits lefty, where Carter and Allen hit and either could wind up in the OF or as DH. Super Sub Todd Frazier is MLB-ready for 3b-SS-2b and OF. The A’s would need one more player in the deal: 5-tool OF: Yorman Rodriguez Rank: 4 Dayton Dragons (A) ETA: 2014 Position: OF Age: 19, DOB: 08/15/1992 Bats: R, Throws: R Signed: Aug. 15, 2008 There may not be a more dynamic duo than Billy Hamilton and this teenage outfielder. Rodriguez has all the tools you could ask for, and he’s just figuring out how to use them. He also thrives with runners in scoring position, hitting .329 with a .407 OBP in 2011. When all is said and done, he could be the prototypical five-tool right fielder. or a pitcher: Brad Boxberger Rank: 6 Phoenix Desert Dogs ETA: 2012 Position: RHP Age: 23, DOB: 05/27/1988 Bats: R, Throws: R Drafted: 2009, 1st (43) When Boxberger came out of the University of Southern California in 2009, there were questions about whether he’d be a starter or reliever, long-term. Those appear to have been answered after an up-and-down 2010 that saw him start and relieve. Now, however, he’s a reliever, with the power arm that works well in short relief, even if he has the arsenal to be a starter. He worked out of the ‘pen back in Double-A in 2011, then earned a bump up to Triple-A at the end of June and continued to work as a reliever. OR Donnie Joseph Rank: 10 Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) ETA: 2012 Position: LHP Age: 24, DOB: 11/01/1987 Bats: L, Throws: L Drafted: 2009, 3rd (88) A 2009 third-rounder out of the University of Houston, Joseph moved very quickly in his first full season, pitching at three levels. Along the way, he topped the system with 24 saves and had a 2.08 ERA and .182 batting average against. He also had an eye-popping 14.27 K/9 ratio. He’s had some command issues leading to a 3.6 BB/9 ratio heading into 2011, but they’ve improved and aren’t a big concern when he’s pitching in short relief stints. He might not be a closer in the big leagues — and he got off to a rough start back in Double-A last year — but he’s got the chance to be a very good setup man in the near future. He pitched very well in the offense-heavy Arizona Fall League to close out his year.

  • EarlNash

    OR maybe a blockbuster with the Red Sox?

    Try this: the A’s are ready to deal Andrew Bailey and are willing to take prospects. To make it interesting, let’s add Gio Gonzalez to the deal. A’s need young 3b, young C and a mobile, LH, 1b who can play D, and an OF who can score some runs. Thus: Bailey and Gonzalez for 3b Will Middlebrooks C Luis Exposito (AAA) or Varitek 1b Lars Anderson OF Ryan Kalish

  • EarlNash

    OR, maybe a deal with the REDS?

    REDs are intersted in Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey; Gio would give them a #1 slot SP and Bailey would give then a proven MLB closer. The A’s need offense and have some holes to fill in the OF, 3b, 1b. Alonso fills the 1b slot; hits lefty, where Carter and Allen hit and either could wind up in the OF or as DH. Super Sub Todd Frazier is MLB-ready for 3b-SS-2b and OF. The A’s would need one more player in the deal: 5-tool OF: Yorman Rodriguez Rank: 4 Dayton Dragons (A) ETA: 2014 Position: OF Age: 19, DOB: 08/15/1992 Bats: R, Throws: R Signed: Aug. 15, 2008 There may not be a more dynamic duo than Billy Hamilton and this teenage outfielder. Rodriguez has all the tools you could ask for, and he’s just figuring out how to use them. He also thrives with runners in scoring position, hitting .329 with a .407 OBP in 2011. When all is said and done, he could be the prototypical five-tool right fielder. or a pitcher: Brad Boxberger Rank: 6 Phoenix Desert Dogs ETA: 2012 Position: RHP Age: 23, DOB: 05/27/1988 Bats: R, Throws: R Drafted: 2009, 1st (43) When Boxberger came out of the University of Southern California in 2009, there were questions about whether he’d be a starter or reliever, long-term. Those appear to have been answered after an up-and-down 2010 that saw him start and relieve. Now, however, he’s a reliever, with the power arm that works well in short relief, even if he has the arsenal to be a starter. He worked out of the ‘pen back in Double-A in 2011, then earned a bump up to Triple-A at the end of June and continued to work as a reliever. OR Donnie Joseph Rank: 10 Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) ETA: 2012 Position: LHP Age: 24, DOB: 11/01/1987 Bats: L, Throws: L Drafted: 2009, 3rd (88) A 2009 third-rounder out of the University of Houston, Joseph moved very quickly in his first full season, pitching at three levels. Along the way, he topped the system with 24 saves and had a 2.08 ERA and .182 batting average against. He also had an eye-popping 14.27 K/9 ratio. He’s had some command issues leading to a 3.6 BB/9 ratio heading into 2011, but they’ve improved and aren’t a big concern when he’s pitching in short relief stints. He might not be a closer in the big leagues — and he got off to a rough start back in Double-A last year — but he’s got the chance to be a very good setup man in the near future. He pitched very well in the offense-heavy Arizona Fall League to close out his year.

  • EarlNash

    OR maybe a blockbuster with the Red Sox?

    Try this: the A’s are ready to deal Andrew Bailey and are willing to take prospects. To make it interesting, let’s add Gio Gonzalez to the deal. A’s need young 3b, young C and a mobile, LH, 1b who can play D, and an OF who can score some runs. Thus: Bailey and Gonzalez for 3b Will Middlebrooks C Luis Exposito (AAA) or Varitek 1b Lars Anderson OF Ryan Kalish