The Athletics continued to dismantle their establishment yesterday by trading Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox for Reddick, Head and Alancantara. This trade has extreme importance for the Red Sox who have been in trouble in the last few months. They had a historic collapse, which led to a new manager and GM. During that time, they lost their All-Star closer to the Phillies in free agency.
Where money failed to maintain a player, the Red Sox ended up getting a young, star closer who could contribute the Red Sox for many seasons. However the Ryan Sweeney portion of the trade is interesting as well. Sweeney has been linked to the Red Sox before, is young and could easily compete for an OF spot.
The Athletics received some big names as well, but what this trade shows what we all knew about Oakland. They are starting to rebuild again. This year they have already traded Gio Gonzalez, now Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. What is different about this rebuilding is they are trading players Before they hit their prime. This is a really interesting strategy because they are commanding high prices for all of their pieces. This means in 2014, 2015 or whatever, we will see how this strategy worked for the Athletics, who will probably be the San Jose Athletics at that point.
This also sets up an interesting situation for the rest of the winter. Two of the top closers on the market, Cordera and Madson, are still without home. The Red Sox may have been the last team that could handle Madsons’s contract demands. The other way to look at this is that maybe with the Bailey trade over, teams may want to make a move on these remaining closers. Honestly, I don’t know.