Thoughts on Andrew Bailey trade talk

The rumor mill is cranking up regarding the Texas Rangers’ interest in A’s closer Andrew Bailey. Brady Tinker of the Dallas-based DFW Sports Beat mentions Bailey specifically as someone the Rangers are pursuing, while Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News adds that Texas is engaged in talks with the A’s about relievers, without mentioning a specific name.

I have heard nothing  to suggest a Bailey-to-Texas deal is in the works, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the A’s would trade him. There’s two ways to look at this decision. On one hand, Bailey is a two-time All-Star who is still affordable and under team control through 2014 (he is arbitration-eligible after this season, but won’t reach free agency until after the ’14 season). The A’s have incentive to hold on to this guy and feel secure about the ninth inning for the next three seasons. But I’d also argue that Bailey’s presence is not going to make or break the A’s chances to be a contender in 2012. This team will need offensive upgrades (let’s assume Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui and other veterans won’t be back) to be ready to challenge for the division title. Acquiring (or grooming) capable closers has been an easier task for the A’s than landing impact hitters . A young, affordable and proven closer such as Bailey is attractive to Texas for obvious reasons, and Bailey could fetch a lot in a deal. Or at least the A’s should demand a lot and see if the Rangers bite.

 What would the A’s want in return? This is purely speculation, but I could see them targeting shortstop Jurickson Profar. He’s just 18, playing for low Single-A Hickory (N.C.), so he’s not close to big league-ready. But the A’s need a long-term answer at shortstop (that’s evident by the Grant Green-in-center field experiment), and Profar is ranked by Baseball America as the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect.  I’m told Texas isn’t eager to part with him, but that’s the caliber of player the A’s should want as the centerpiece of such a package.

A’s general manager Billy Beane says he doesn’t feel the need to make any trades by Sunday’s deadline. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean he won’t pull the trigger if he gets the right offer. Again, all speculation on my part, but interesting to ponder …

Any thoughts?

Joe Stiglich

  • Oakland4ever

    In addition to a top prospect such as Profar, I’d also get TX to include Chris Davis…maybe Davis takes over at 3B & finally starts hitting at the MLB level

  • S Vu

    Bailey’s a stud, but its a no brainer to trade a closer who pitches at most 80 innings for a future SS that can play 150+ games.

  • Drew from Omaha

    I feel confident that someone in the bullpen or currently in the farm will be able to step up if the A’s ship out Bailey. I had thought we got Fuentes to be that guy, but he’s been a giant waste of money in my opinion.

  • Jeremy

    If the Rangers will include Profar in the deal, do it. If they won’t, sorry.

  • John Glavin

    Bailey trade for Profar sounds good, with additions, but bring up from Sacramento asap Jai Miller, Matt Carson, Kouzmanoff, Adrian Cardenas, and especially Anthony Recker, whose stats look better than either of our catchers. These new faces would add interest to the rest of this season.

  • Stan

    Don’t you guys tire of seeing Beane give away players we KNOW are good and solid? Isn’t Fuentes and his disasterous season mean something? Or what Wilson across the bay does for their starters? Bailey and Willingham for who?..it’s trade A AND B grade Oaklanders for C graders from another team under Beane man. Saves money..increases profits.
    “Willingham is as good as gone” ? Uh,yeah,rebuilding -again from the 3rd or 4th richest ownership group in baseball..and they won’t bother to outbid the Yomohuru Carp for a great player.

  • Angry A’s Fan

    If Bailey gets traded to the Rangers and Profar is not part of the deal, I would like to see Rangers third base prospect Tommy Mendonca included in the package. He is a third baseman with a dazzling glove and a lot of power from the left side of the plate. He was one of the heroes on Fresno State’s 2008 national championship team and hails from the same hometown (Turlock) as 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick. Mendonca is raking at Double-A Frisco right now (.302/.361/.546) with 21 HR and 76 RBI. His real weakness is striking out too much (113 in 368 at-bats), but the A’s are more desperate to develop corner infielders right now. Pennington is an effective SS for a few more years at least.
    I’m not screaming for a Bailey trade, and it would be even more risky to deal him to an AL West rival. But I also don’t think it makes sense to keep the same corps players around when the A’s keep finding the same results. To me, the team needs to be built around Weeks, Suzuki, Cahill and Gonzalez. Everyone else is expendable, as the A’s have never lacked guys to be closers in the last decade.
    Obviously Suzuki’s struggles at the plate and throwing out runners is a concern, but he handles the pitching staff well and that’s what catchers should do. The problem when a team is pretty bad offensively, guys like Suzuki who play a position that shouldn’t be expected to provide big offense get more criticism than he deserves. Kurt makes his money working with pitchers. It’s the corner infield and outfield spots that need to be upgraded on offense.
    I really believe Beane shouldn’t make more than a couple of minor moves and deal one of the bullpen guys or maybe Crisp, unless of course Bailey can fetch a possible impact bat in return. Anyone else would probably get back just a marginal prospect at best. Let’s see if Willingham and Matsui can finish strong and maybe the A’s can re-sign one or both to short-term but incentive-laden extensions. It’s also time to see if Cardenas, Miller and Recker among others can be big-league hitters. Call up a couple of those guys and give them some at-bats in September.

  • Stan

    Why not since the A’s are a ownership group don’t they sell half the team to Ellison and or the 24 hour fitness group guy? With that kind of huge capital backing they could build a new ballpark and sign the best players out there.
    Oh, that’s right..the present owners aren’t in it to win.