December 28, 2011 at 6:21 PM
As first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney, the Red Sox have acquired reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Miles Head and pitcher Raul Alcantara.
Bailey, 27, was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Wagner College. The right-hander quickly became one of the top relievers in baseball by going 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 26 saves, and 91 strikeouts in 83.1 innings pitched as a rookie in 2009. The impressive debut earned Bailey American League Rookie of the Year honors and his first All-Star Game invitation. Bailey followed up his stellar 2009 campaign with an impressive 2010 season, posting a 1.47 ERA with 25 saves. In 2011, Bailey compiled a 3.24 ERA with 24 saves and 41 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. The 6'3" closer features three quality pitches, a curveball, four-seam fastball, and cutter. Bailey is under Red Sox control until 2014 and is eligible for arbitration this offseason.
Sweeney, 26, was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2003 amateur draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder was a former top prospect in the Chicago system before being traded to Oakland in 2008 as part of a package for Nick Swisher. Sweeney is a versatile outfielder who is known for his strong defensive skills and is adept at all three positions. In 2011, Sweeney appeared in 108 games, hitting .265/.346/.341 with 1 home run and 25 RBI. A career .283/.342/.378 hitter, Sweeney appears to be an option for Boston's opening in right field and is also eligible for arbitration after making $1.4 million in 2011.
Reddick, 24, was selected by the Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft. The left-handed hitting outfielder impressed in 2007 with Low-A Greenville, hitting .305/.351/.530 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI in 95 contests. He followed the 2007 campaign with another solid season in 2008 with Greenville, High-A Lancaster and Double-A Portland, hitting a combined .311/.356/.544 with 23 home runs and 91 RBI. Reddick made his major league debut in 2009, hitting .169/.210/.339 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in 59 at-bats. Due to injury to Red Sox right-fielder J.D. Drew, Reddick saw significant time with Boston in 2011, hitting .280/.327/.457 with 7 home runs and 28 RBI in 87 games.
Head, 20, was drafted by Boston in the 26th round of the 2009 amateur draft. The right-handed hitting first baseman had a breakout year in 2011 with both Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem, hitting .299/.372/.515 with 22 home runs, 82 RBI and 37 doubles in 129 games. At the time of the trade, Head was ranked 17th on SoxProspects.com.
Alcantara, 19, was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in July of 2009. In his rookie season with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox in 2010, Alcantara went 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts. The right-hander made his American debut in 2011, splitting time between the Rookie-Gulf Coast League Red Sox and the Short Season A-Lowell Spinners, posting a 1-4 record with a 2.20 ERA in 13 starts. At the time of the trade, Alcantara was ranked 25th on SoxProspects.com.