The New York Yankees have signed the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey to a minor-league deal. The former Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox relief pitcher is a safe choice and has high potential to contribute to the Yankees’ questionable bullpen.
Bailey already fits in with the rest of the Yankees’ roster, given his uncertain capabilities and injury-proneness. However, his upside is limitless. Bailey earned the AL Rookie of the Year in 2009 after he posted a 1.84 ERA with 26 saves and 91 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. Two years later, he was traded to the Red Sox and began to have injury issues.
Reconstructive surgery on Bailey’s right thumb in 2012 limited him to play in just 19 games, where he recorded a 7.04 ERA. Shoulder issues plagued him last season, but he still managed to play in 30 games a post a respectable 3.77 ERA. Overall, Bailey’s numbers are above average, with 227 strikeouts in 218 innings and a 2.64 ERA. What he can produce now will be interesting to see.
Bailey had surgery for a torn Labrum last July, which is a difficult procedure to rehab; just ask Michael Pineda. The 29-year-old righty has averaged less than 40 innings a season and hasn’t really cemented a role, whether it is a long reliever, set-up man or closer.
The Bronx seems to be a great fit for Bailey, because he can just fall in line with the rest of the tentative relievers. Bailey will begin 2014 in the minors, but should be motivated, as a major league callup will earn him a salary of nearly $2 million. If he can get healthy and return to the form he had while in Oakland, Bailey will be a quality pickup for the Yankees.