The Boston Red Sox got lucky with Koji Uehara. Having injuries to two key members of the bullpen, Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan is something that most teams cannot recover from. However, Uehara provided an incredible spark for the Red Sox en route to a World Series championship. However, one might think how dangerous Boston’s bullpen could be with a healthy Bailey or Hanrahan.
With the Red Sox mulling over tenders and non-tenders, the plan is for the team to bring back Bailey for the 2014 season. Bailey will likely earn $4.3 million through arbitration and could become a vital piece in a stacked bullpen that will be headed by Uehara next season. Bailey has a chance to join relievers like Junichi Tazawa and Felix Doubront next season.
There is no doubt that with a healthy Bailey, Boston can win any game in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings easily. Tazawa was remarkable in the postseason. In 13 games, Tazawa allowed only one earned run, striking out 7.4 K/9. He came alive to be a dominant setup man for Uehara, who took the ninth inning by storm from the stretch run of season toward the World Series march.
With Bailey coming back into the mix, you get a former 20-plus save closer who has a career ERA of 2.64. Bailey is also only 29-years-old and he can provide even more veteran stability, if he can stay healthy, to an already scary bullpen.
Tendering a contract to Bailey would be a good idea. If he succeeds, it looks good upon the organization. But if he is inconsistent, then you have a good trade chip.