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Could Bailey be Cincinnati-Bound for Alonso?

November 21, 2011

Today’s rumor mill began to be stirred by ESPN’s Buster Olney and ESPNxm’s Jim Bowden involving a potential deal between the A’s and Reds. First Olney tweeted,

“Reds are talking about possible Andrew Bailey deal.”

Then Bowden followed it up with,

“Buster Olney my ESPN colleague reporting Reds are talking to A’s about closer Andrew Bailey. A’s source confirms their interest in [Yonder] Alonso.”

On it’s surface it didn’t seem right because it looked like a big overpay. Perhaps as a part of a bigger trade Alonso, one of Cincinnati’s more prized prospects, could be on the move, but as a straight up for a closer (despite their rapidly escalating prices) it didn’t seem like a realistic move. Regardless, Alonso who is primarily a first basemen (there have been questions regarding his athleticism to cover a position like left field) would only add even more bodies to a position that the A’s have ample depth at right now – even if some of that depth is questionable – so it isn’t a deal I’d be ecstatic over. Shortly after these rumors surface though, the MLB.com beat writer who covers Cincinnati, Mark Sheldon, quashed the rumors of Alonso at least being the one on the move, at least in a one-for-one saying,

“This is not a match. Giving up Alonso for Bailey is way too much. A Reds source I checked with about this proposal agreed.

The Reds have other more pressing needs than for a closer at the moment, namely a starting pitcher. There are a lot of closers available on the open market that might be had for cheap and the door is certainly not closed on Francisco Cordero returning. Bailey is a two-time All-Star and former AL Rookie of the Year but injuries got in the way in late 2010 and early 2011.”

I can’t speak the Reds’ needs, wants or desires but I do disagree with the contention that there are “a lot of closers available on the open market that might be had for cheap” part. Bailey represents a steal for the caliber closer he is, for teams that plan on being in contention. Bailey’s value might not be Yonder Alonso high, but it also isn’t that far from it either. From the A’s point of view, getting a talent like Alonso doesn’t really fit, their primary goal if you’re getting back MLB ready talent for Bailey, should be an outfielder.

I asked Bailey about what it is like being in the rumor mill on Twitter and he was kind enough to reply saying,

“You can only control what you can control and thats getting ready for next year!”

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