Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 12/28/11

If you thought that Daniel Bard still might be the closer or in the bullpen when the Boston Red Sox acquired Mark Melancon, you probably had a 50% chance of being right. But after the latest acquisition by GM Ben Cherington, I'd say there's probably a 5-10% chance that Bard is in the bullpen next season.

Cherington made another splash on the trade market on Wednesday when he acquired closer Andrew Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland Athletics for OF Josh Reddick and minor league 1B Miles Head and RHP Raul Alcantara.

Bailey is a former AL Rookie of the Year (2009) but has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. However when he's healthy, he can be one of the better closers in the game. He came off the disabled list on May 29th for the A's, appearing in 42 games. In those 42 games, he was 0-4 with a 3.24 ERA and 24 saves.

Over his three seasons with the A's, he was 7-10 with a 2.07 ERA and 75 saves. He was also an All-Star in 2009 and 2010.

He's a low cost option for the Red Sox as he's eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2012 meaning the Red Sox will control his rights for the next three years.

In 108 games last season, Sweeney hit .265 with one home run and 25 RBIs. He can play all three outfield positions and probably will be in the mix for the starting RF spot unless the Red Sox get someone to fill the position.

Reddick was probably going to compete for the starting RF job but now will get a chance to play everyday in the spacious outfield at Oakland Alameda County Stadium.

Head was a 26th round draft choice of the Red Sox in 2009 and spent the 2011 season with the Greenville Drive and Salem Red Sox. Combined on the season, he hit .299 with 22 home runs, 82 RBIs and four stolen bases.

Alcantera, who is just 19 years old, spent the 2011 season with the GCL Red Sox and Lowell Spinners. In 13 starts between the two teams, he was 1-4 with a 2.20 ERA.

Personally, I like this move as well like I did with the Melancon deal.

For one, if Bailey has to deal with any injuries, Melancon can step in and fill in for him. Secondly, the move allows Bard to fully concentrate on starting during spring training. Should something change with that, the Red Sox would have a pretty solid back end of the bullpen with him, Bailey, Melancon and Alfredo Aceves. Of course with Aceves, it all depends on whether he's starting as well.

Sure you lose Reddick and his potential but you need a solid bullpen and this trade solidfies it.

Click on the read more button below to read the press release from the Red Sox if you're on the home page.

The Boston Red Sox today acquired right-handed pitcher Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick, and minor league right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara and first baseman Miles Head.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.

A two-time All-Star, Bailey converted 24 of 26 save opportunities (92.3 percent) for Oakland in 2011, the second-highest success rate among American League closers.  The 27-year-old posted a 3.24 ERA (15 ER/41.2 IP) in 42 relief appearances overall with the A’s last season, compiling 41 strikeouts compared to 12 walks while holding opponents to a .218 average (34-for-156).

Selected by the A’s in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Bailey has converted 75 of 84 (89.3) save opportunities in three Major League seasons from 2009-11, the highest career percentage for an Oakland hurler and third-highest in the American League in that time (min. 40 chances).  He has posted a 2.07 ERA (40 ER/174.0 IP) and 174 strikeouts while going 7-10 over his 157 Major League appearances and has held opposing batters to a .188 clip (117-for-621).  Bailey was named AL Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA in 2009 when he set an Oakland rookie record with 26 saves.

Sweeney, 26, hit .265 (70-for-264) with 11 doubles, three triples, one home run, 25 RBI, 34 runs scored and 33 walks in 108 games with the Athletics in 2011, appearing at all three outfield positions and designated hitter.  The left-handed hitter batted at a .286 clip (63-for-220) off right-handers last season.  He did not commit an error in 153 total chances in the outfield, his second straight errorless campaign (also 153 chances in 2010).

A second-round selection of the Chicago White Sox in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Sweeney has a career .283 average (428-for-1515) with 83 doubles, 10 triples, 14 home runs, 169 RBI, 202 runs and 139 walks in 472 career Major League games over parts of six seasons with the White Sox (2006-07) and Athletics (2008-11).

The 24-year-old Reddick appeared in 87 games over two stints with the Red Sox last season, batting .280 (71-for-254) with 18 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 28 RBI and 41 runs, and recorded five assists from the outfield.  He also played in 52 games with Triple-A Pawtucket in 2011 and hit .230 (44-for-191) with nine doubles, a triple, 14 home runs, 36 RBI and 37 runs.  Selected by the Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Reddick is 93-for-375 (.248) with 25 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 51 runs in 143 career Major League games with Boston over parts of the last three seasons.

Alcantara went 1-4 with a 2.20 ERA (16ER/65.1 IP) in 13 starts between the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Short-A Lowell Spinners in 2011.  The 19-year-old was signed by Boston as an international free agent in July of 2009 and is 6-7 with a 2.72 ERA (38 ER/125.2 IP) in 26 minor league games (26 starts).

Head hit .299 (148-for-495) with 37 doubles, 22 homers, and 82 RBI between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem in 2011.  The Red Sox 26th pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, the right-handed hitter has a .274 career average (206-for-753), with 53 doubles, 23 home runs, 117 RBI and 83 walks in 204 games over three minor league seasons from 2009-11

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

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