Well, let's start with the big one. Boston acquired closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the A's the other day for Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara.
Bailey is the centerpiece and immediately becomes the best option for the closer position, joining the recently acquired Mark Melancon and holdovers Bobby Jenks, Franklin Morales, and Matt Albers in a much stronger-looking bullpen. Bailey has been a two time All Star and Rookie of the Year. Last year he was 0-4 with a 3.26 ERA and 24 saves. Sweeney is a possibility for a platoon in right field. He is very good defensively, but not a very potent bat, particularly against left-handers.
Boston gave up Reddick, who could be a solid major leaguer in time, but has no real eye at the plate, Head who has power but little else, and Alcantara who is a ways away.
NEWS AND NOTES
-Boston has signed minor league relievers Doug Mathis and Jesse Carlson and re-signed Rich Hill. Mathis last appeared in the Majors in 2010 with Texas. He had decent numbers in 2009 but has not been overly impressive. Carlson also last appeared in 2010 with Toronto and was a big part of the Blue Jays pen in 2009. Hill appeared to be a decent lefty specialist before going down with an injury for Boston last year.
-Erik Bedard signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. No real loss there.
-Brett Carroll signed as a minor league free agent with the Nationals. I had no idea he was even in the Red Sox system.
-Hideki Okajima joined the Yankees on a minor league contract. Okajima has been nowhere near the pitcher he was in the last few years, so this is basically meaningless.