The Tampa Bay Rays have been relatively quiet so far this offseason, searching for a DH and first baseman and looking to perhaps unload one of their young starting pitchers in exchange for offense. Now it seems the Rays might also be in the mix for Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey. Via Tommy Rancel of ESPNFlorida.com:
Ken Rosenthal reports the Rays and Boston Red Sox are two of the teams interested in Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey. The A's are shopping some of their young talent in an effort to get even younger and more cost-controlled.
Bailey, 27, won the American League rookie of the year award in 2009 on the strength of a 1.84 ERA and 26 saves. In the two seasons since, he has saved 49 additional games with a 2.28 ERA in 90.2 innings. Last year, he posted a career-worst 3.24 ERA, but was largely the same pitcher he was in previous years according to advanced metrics. For his career he has a struck out a batter per inning with above-average marks in walks and home runs allowed. He is a relatively neutral pitcher in terms of batted balls and goes to work with a mid 90s fastball, a cutter, and a breaking ball in the mid-to-upper 70s.
The A's will not simply give up Bailey for ten cents on the dollar; they will expect a haul of young players in return. Are the Rays willing to move a young starter and perhaps a high-level position prospect for a 27-year-old closer who has a 2.07 career ERA and has averaged over a strikeout per inning in his three year career? They just might.
To join in the conversation about the Rays' offseason and potential moves, head over the SB Nation's blog on the Rays, DRaysBay.