Cherington: Bailey is a top-quality closer

Ben Cherington just did a conference call with the media. A few of his more interesting comments . . .

On Andrew Bailey: “Andrew’s a proven, top-quality closer in the American League. He’s done for three years and had a lot of success. He’s converted a very high percentage of his opportunities. We really like his makeup for Boston. … He can fit very well into our team and into our clubhouse.”

On Daniel Bard starting: “Bard is going to prepare for spring training as a starter and we want to give him every chance to do that. We just need to see how things go in spring training. … We believe he can do it.”


There are health issues. Bailey had Tommy John elbow surgery in 2005 while at Wagner College. He also an elbow procedure in September of 2010 and opened the 2011 season on the disabled list with a forearm strain. He did not return until May 29.

“We had a chance to look into Bailey’s medical history and get to know a lot more about what he’s gone through,” Cherington said. “We’re very confident that he will come into camp ready to go.”

On the right field situation: “Ryan Sweeney we expect to be a big part of our outfield mix. He can play right field. He’s a good defender. His versatility is kind of like Reddick, really, both of them can play both outfield spots and play them well. Sweeney has played in a big ballpark in Oakland and handled the defensive part of the game well. We also really like his offensive approach to Fenway. He’s got an opposite field approach. He’s a guy we tried to acquire in the past, and think he fits well with our team. So he’ll be a big part of our outfield mix.

“We still have Darnell McDonald on our roster, who has done a good job for us in the past and has hit left-handed pitching. Mike Aviles we sent to Puerto Rico not too long ago to get some experience in the outfield. We got good reports on him when he was in Puerto Rico. Obviously we like him as a hitter and as an offensive player. We think we have some internal solutions for right field and Sweeney is a big part of that.”


Does this trade affect the rotation and obtaining a starter?: “To some degree. I think that the starters we’ve considered and talked about and in some cases pursued are a pretty broad range of pitching options. We’ve just felt, to this point, that the deals that we liked the best on the trade front were the Melancon deal and now this deal. So we’re going to continue to work. We’re actively considering and looking at starting pitching options also. But we haven’t found one yet where we feel like the acquisition cost is the right one. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come to us. It just hasn’t come yet.

“I think our situation has been one where we can afford to be a little bit patient for the starting pitching market because of who we have at the front of the rotation. If we can find ways to build depth in the rotation, we will. We don’t feel like we’re forced into doing that. With the guys we have at the front of the rotation and with Bard and [Alfredo] Aceves both coming to camp as starters and giving us options there, along with Andrew Miller and [Felix] Doubront and others who will be in camp showcasing their abilities as starters.”

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