DALLAS — The Red Sox are engaged in discussions with Oakland regarding closer Andrew Bailey. The righthander is coming off the worst season of his career (3.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP), but is only 27 and healthy after starting last season on the disabled list.
Oakland has interest in outfielder Josh Reddick, but could want third baseman Will Middlebrooks in the trade, too. That could be a deal-breaker for the Red Sox. But the Sox have some other prospects who could interest the A's.
Oakland badly needs outfielders. David DeJesus signed with the Cubs and Coco Crisp and Josh Willingham are free agents. Reddick would be a low-cost solution to one spot.
Bailey is arbitration-eligible for the first time and is likely to get $3.3 million or so next season. The Red Sox could absorb that easily and shift Daniel Bard to the rotation, or use Bailey and Bard together in the bullpen.
Bailey is from New Jersey and attended Wagner College in New York. His wife, Amanda, is from Connecticut. Presumably he would welcome a trade to the East Coast.
Meanwhile Oakland also has Gio Gonzalez available. The Tigers and the Yankees are among those with interest.
UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.: ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the A's have not, in fact, inquired about Middlebrooks as part of a trade for Bailey.
The sides hashed out a deal for Rich Harden last July that was canceled when the Red Sox had medical concerns. Oakland was willing to take first base prospect Lars Anderson in that deal. The A's also have familiarity with other Red Sox prospects.