A's ship Bailey to Boston for Reddick, two more

A's ship Bailey to Boston for Reddick, two more

A's ship Bailey to Boston for Reddick, two more
OAKLAND -- Less than a week after trading one of their All-Star pitchers, the A's dealt another to Boston on Wednesday, shipping right-handed closer Andrew Bailey to the Red Sox.

The deal, which comes on the heels of Gio Gonzalez's departure to Washington, also sent outfielder Ryan Sweeney to Boston. In exchange, Oakland received outfielder Josh Reddick and a pair of Minor Leaguers: third baseman Miles Head and right-hander Raul Alcantara.

"It was a combination of getting back a Major League-ready position player -- we think Josh is an everyday outfielder who we've liked for quite some time -- and prospects who we really like that made this a good option for us," A's assistant general manager David Forst said.

It marks the third substantial trade of the offseason for he A's, who have suddenly moved quickly in their rebuild quest -- they also traded pitchers Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona earlier in the month -- as they wait on a decision from Major League Baseball regarding a potential new stadium in San Jose.

A's managing partner Lew Wolff told MLB.com on Tuesday that there has been no traction in the stadium talks despite recent reports suggesting otherwise. But A's general manager Billy Beane, trying to implement a long-term plan he hopes will equate to a contending team in as few as three years, maintains he has no choice but to act like the club will have a new home soon.

To that end, Beane will continue stockpiling prospects and adding to a depleted farm system, even if it means letting go of a player of Bailey's caliber. In three big league seasons with the A's, the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star compiled 75 saves to go along with a 2.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, despite two disabled-list stints. He also tallied 174 strikeouts in as many innings.

His success followed one too many struggles as a starter at the Minor League level, and on Wednesday Bailey relayed his sense of gratitude to the organization that allowed him such a career-changing opportunity in 2009, when he went from Double-A obscurity to prime-time closer.

"I can't say enough about the A's organization because, looking back, not many guys would be given the opportunity I was given back in 2009, coming off a terrible year in Double-A to making the big league team and, a couple months later, being closer," Bailey said. "So hats off to them and the opportunity they gave me.

"I had a good conversation with Billy. I understand. They're moving in a different direction and want to get younger and are hopefully looking forward to a new stadium in San Jose."

With Bailey out of the mix, the A's have several in-house closing options, including right-handers Fautino De Los Santos, Joey Devine and Grant Balfour and lefty Brian Fuentes.

Reddick, meanwhile, gives them a durable everyday option in all three outfield spots, notably in center field -- his home in the Minors -- and right field, where he played most in Boston. Where he fits in Oakland's picture remains to be seen.

"I think that will play out over the next few months," Forst said. "We don't quite have a full outfield yet, so it's nice for us to know he can play all three spots.

"[Hitting coach] Chili Davis saw him a lot in center field and really liked him there when he was with the Red Sox system, and he was very good defensively in the big leagues. So we have both options, but we probably won't be able to tell until we get a better sense of what our Major League outfield's going to look like as a whole."

The 24-year-old Reddick played in 143 games in parts of three seasons with the Red Sox. He began the 2011 campaign at Triple-A Pawtucket but was promoted to Boston in late May and hit .280 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs in 87 games over two stints.

The left-handed batter is reminiscent of Sweeney, who departs the A's after four seasons in Oakland, where he hit .286 with 13 home runs and 159 RBIs in 439 games. Relegated to a bench role this past season after an injury-plagued 2010 season, Sweeney compiled career lows in batting average (.265) and RBIs (25) and hit just one home run.

Head, 20, batted .299 with 22 home runs and 82 RBIs in 129 games at the Class A level this year and, according to Forst, represents "the type of offensive player we wanted to add to the system" alongside fellow third-base prospect Stephen Parker.

Alcantara, whom Forst confirmed was a talked-about name in the potential Rich Harden deal in July, combined for a 1-4 record and 2.20 ERA in 13 starts between Class A Lowell and the Red Sox affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

The 19-year-old, originally signed by Boston as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, struck out 50 and walked just 12 while holding opponents to a .208 batting average and did not allow a home run in 65 1/3 innings.

Oakland's offseason maneuverings have netted them 10 players via trade. Forst did not rule out another and said "there are still some players of interest."

The roster makeover, then, continues.

"I'm just glad I was able to hopefully help them get better for the future," Bailey said.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.