The Red Sox have their closer. After Jon Papelbon’s departure, the Red Sox needed a new ninth inning guy and they got him by picking up Athletics closer Andrew Bailey in a five player deal. The Red Sox also get Ryan Sweeney and they gave up Josh Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara.
Bailey missed the first two months of the season with a strained intercostal muscle but then he came back strong and saved 24 games last season. This is a guy with a career 2.07 ERA but a lot of those games came with nobody on and nobody out. Still, he has a sub 1.00 WHIP and 174 strikeouts in 174 innings.
Of course with Reddick leaving the team, now the Red Sox have a hold in right field. Ryan Kalish is also an option. Still, I like the way the Red Sox bullpen is shaping up.
The Red Sox signed utility infielder Nick Punto to a two year, $3 million deal. With the departure of Jed Lowrie, Punto will most likely fill the role of utility infielder with the Red Sox. He’s a little better defensively then Lowrie so that will be a plus.
Punto had a solid season last year with the Cardinals. In 63 games, he finished with an .809 OPS. That was by far the best of his career. Still, Punto is a career .249 hitter and it’s pretty hollow at that so you can’t expect too much from him other then as a fill in. He is a switch hitter, but his OPS is pretty much the same against lefties versus righties. He does have a nice though and last year that helped give him a .388 OBP.
John Sickels put out his top 20 Red Sox prospects list and while there’s no blue chips yet, there’s some depth. Coming in at number one is Xander Bogaerts who’s a shortstop. He still has a way to go and Sickels gave him a B+ but also said that he could have given them an A-.
Number two is the top pitcher, Matt Barnes. He slipped to the Red Sox in the draft last year but Sickels talks about how he has a major league build and could be a solid starter. Will Middlebrooks (3b) is third and he’s close but will probably spend some time in Pawtucket.
Rounding out the top five is Ryan Lavarnway (C-DH) and Garin Cecchini (3b). He indicated Cecchini has some potential.
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