Sunday, February 23, 2014

When he's healthy, he can bring a lot, actually. You may have saw what was reported Saturday night, that the Yankees are signing reliever Andrew Bailey to a minor-league deal.

Bailey, when healthy, is one of the more underrated relievers in the league. He was great a couple of years ago with the Oakland Athletics before being traded to Boston.

Bailey saw limited time with the Red Sox in his two years on the team because of injuries. The labrum tear knocked him out in 2013 after just 28.2 innings. In two totals years in Boston, his ERA is 4.91 in just over 45 innings.

The first three years of his major league career, all with the Athletics, were much better. His ERA was 2.07 in the three years combined, and he struck out 174 batters in 174 innings, while walking 69. His strikeouts per nine was 9.4 and his walks per nine was 2.8. He was even named AL Rookie of the Year in 2009 after posting a 1.84 ERA in 68 appearances.

David Robertson is expected to be the closer this season, and Shawn Kelley is the early favorite heading ins spring training to be the 8th inning guy in front of Robertson. If Bailey is able to come back healthy mid-season, he could slide into the 8th inning role, and also serve as insurance for Robertson.

I really like this signing. It has a chance to be a very low-risk, high-reward signing for the Yankees if he comes back to be as good as he can be. This is not a guy that was good for a season or two, he has been good throughout his entire career.

I also think that this deal could mean a lot more in 2015 than it does in this season. Because he is going to be missing quite some time with the injury, he could use this year to build his case to be here next year, and make a real run at becoming the closer -- he has 89 career saves -- if Robertson candle handle the 9th inning this season.

Yankees links worth sharing:

* Francisco Cervelli says everything that happened between him, Biogenesis and Major League Baseball was a mistake.

* The Yankees and Red Sox have been getting into a little war of words in the past couple of days, but former Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury is just ignoring everything.

* David Phelps could begin the season in one of several roles for the Yankees, and he'll be ready for whatever that role is.

* There are still five big issues that are confronting the Yankees has they head into the second week of spring training.

* The Yankees are currently the favorites to sign Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who could announce his signing Monday.

Today's warm-up song: "Empire State of Mind" by Jay Z and Alicia Keys. This song goes along with the news that I will announce on Twitter this morning.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank.


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