By Matt Snyder
With the departure of closer Francisco Cordero via free agency, the Reds now have a hole at the back-end of their bullpen. They also don't have much, if any, money to spend in free agency. Thus, they're going to have to figure something out. Whether it's an in-house option (Aroldis Chapman, who is supposed to be a starter? Nick Masset? Brad Boxberger?) or someone they land via trade remains to be seen. But here's a rumor to chew on, courtesy of ESPN.com's Buster Olney: The Reds are looking at A's closer Andrew Bailey.
Bailey, 27, saved 24 games in 26 chances with a 3.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings during the 2011 season. It was the worst of his career, though, as the two-time All-Star has a career 2.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with exactly one strikeout per inning in three seasons.
Bailey is under team control until 2015, so his asking price won't likely be very cheap. The Reds do have Yonder Alonso, a highly-touted young slugger who is blocked at first base by Joey Votto, however, that's an awfully steep price to pay for a closer. Evidently that hasn't stopped fans from tapping Alonso on Twitter, though, because he just tweeted this:
"Was [SIC] the deal with all this trade talks!? Relax guys!! Reds all the way!"
Anyway, this Bailey talk is nothing more than a rumor at this point, but it's certainly something to watch.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.