Yankees sign Andrew Bailey to minor league deal



Sunday: Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman told Dan Barbarisi and Jack Curry that Bailey’s timetable is likely not midseason, but closer to September. So yeah, this move is more about the 2015 bullpen than anything.

Saturday: The Yankees have added some potential midseason bullpen help. Tim Dierkes and Buster Olney report the team has agreed to an incentive-laden minor league contract with right-hander Andrew Bailey. The deal can be worth up to $2.5M and it includes an option for 2015.

Bailey, 29, is a local guy from New Jersey who went to Wagner College in Staten Island. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum and shoulder capsule last July, so he won’t be ready to pitch until midseason at the earliest. Bailey had a 4.91 ERA (4.68 FIP) in 44 innings for the Red Sox over the last two years while dealing with shoulder and thumb problems. He was legitimately one of the best relievers in the game before that, pitching to a 2.07 ERA (2.74 FIP) in 174 innings with the Athletics from 2009-11.

Torn shoulder capsules are very serious and no pitcher has returned from one to recapture his previous form. Guys like Chien-Ming Wang, Rich Harden, Johan Santana, and Mark Prior have all been derailed by torn capsules. I really think this move is geared more towards 2015 (especially with David Robertson due to become a free agent), but there is a chance Bailey will be able to help down the stretch this year.

Categories : Transactions


  1. gman says:

    Low risk, high reward. Sure. Why not

  2. Blubber123 says:

    What the heck, why not roll the dice.

  3. CashmanNinja says:

    This would be a fantastic deal if it’s a minor league deal. Let him spend more time rehabbing and he could potentially help us half way through the season as well as the future. If he stinks up the joint then we cut our losses. It’s a very low risk and large reward. He’s just a few years away from being a very good closer. Hopefully he rebounds well. I won’t hold my breath because the chance of him being the pitcher he used to be is slim, but it’s worth the risk.

  4. forensic says:

    As long as it’s a minor league deal, I guess it’s no big deal. I’m not expecting anything good from him in the majors anymore though.

    • vicki says:

      torn labrum isn’t the death sentence it used to be. if we believe pineda can come back we have to think the same about bailey, no?

      • forensic says:

        Well, not everyone does believe that Pineda can come back.

        Regardless though, even when on the field Bailey hasn’t been all that great the last couple years anyway, especially in terms of control and homer issues, which is an especially bad combination in YSIII.

      • Guns says:

        But I don’t think Pineda’s injury is the same. Pineda had a labrum tear, not a torn capsule. I think they are different things and Bailey’s injury is more serious, as Mike alluded to listing those pitches who’s careers have been derailed by the same injury.

      • El Maestro says:

        Pineda had a tear. Not the same thing.

  5. Jsbrendog says:

    I went to college with bailey and he was always a solid dude and a Yankee fan so I hope he absolutely comes back healthy and kills it. Very psyched for this signing.

  6. NeilT says:

    Good move, I like it. Especially a minor league deal.

  7. lightSABR says:

    Andrew Bailey… last time I thought about him, the Sox were in the middle of going 7-20 in September on their way to one of the craziest and awesomest nights in baseball history.

    Good memories.

  8. Mike says:

    Great deal. Makes our pen stronger and makes Boston’s weaker.

  9. FIPster Doofus says:

    I love this.

  10. lightSABR says:

    Also, I wonder if anywhere near as many former Yankees have signed with the Sox as former Sox have signed with the Yankees.

    Not that I mind them being part of our farm system. I just hope some of the players we get from them are better than what we’re currently getting from our actual farm. Unlike, say, Youkilis…

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Off the top of my head I can think of David Wells as a guy I know signed with Boston. I’m sure there are others, but I do remember The Sox trying to woo Bernie and Jorge back in the early 2000s.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Didn’t Cone end his career as a Red Sox?

        • Steve (different one) says:

          He went to the Red Sox, but I believe he ended his career trying to come back with the Mets.

        • MartinRanger says:

          He was the losing pitcher during Mussina’s Imperfect game, if I recall correctly.

          I’m really pleased with this signing. Yeah, it could mean nothing, but we might have a elite reliever signed through next year. And if he’s healthy at the end of the year, that’s also going to be key leverage in terms of re-signing Robertson.

      • Nathan says:

        I remember a video of an interview with Mariano where he had just signed a new contract and that the Red Sox had checked in on him. I’m sure they knew there was zero chance but why not check in.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes says:

      2/30 for Mo, rings a bell.

  11. Dalek Jeter says:

    I like this move, and I think Mike’s being a little conservative about when he can help, mlbtr is saying “If the timetable we reported at that time holds, Bailey will be ready to suit up in pinstripes by mid-May.” Either way, it reminds me a lot of the Aardsma deal, which I loved at the time, very low risk and very high reward.

    • MartinRanger says:

      With the added bonus that Bailey is better than Aardsma ever was. If they get lucky health-wise, this is an absolute steal. And if they don’t, it costs them the major league minimum.

      I’m hoping that this might be a sign the Yankees are ready to start snagging more guys on minor league deals before ST games start.

    • Matt DiBari says:

      I like this much more than the Aardsma deal. I was never impressed with Aardsma at all. If Andrew Bailey can return to being some reasonable approximation of Andrew Bailey this is a steal.

    • ALZ says:

      And how many times last year did we hear people would be ready?

  12. Steve (different one) says:

    For many years I couldn’t keep Bailey and Brett Anderson straight.

    Cool story, bro….

  13. Wicomico Pinstripes says:

    Intelligent signing, IMO.

    Career 3.29 k/bb, 1.06 whip, 63 era-, 76 fip-. That’s with two pretty bad years in Boston(44 out of 218 total innings). On top of his potential and past success it’s a minor league deal and he’s arb eligible in 2015.

    Also, you have to love converting former sox into members of the evil empire.

  14. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Very much like. Absolutely nothing to lose and whole shitload to gain.

  15. Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons) says:

    BRef says he’s third year arb eligible. Not that it might matter but 2009 don’t really feel that long ago in terms of my memory of Andrew Bailey.

  16. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    Between Montgomery, Betances and Bailey there could be some serious 2nd half callups for the bullpen this year, not to mention awesome potential for next season’s if they get some seasoning this year.

    I remember all the excitement of the Soriano-Robertson-Rivera (pre-injury of course) “bridge”. This has the potential to be both better and cheaper, even if they do keep Robertson.

  17. dicka24 says:

    The guy may never pitch again. From what I read (I live in Boston), his injury is a significant one for a pitcher. I like the signing regardless, cuz it’s a minor league deal that doesn’t cost anything but money. This kid always seems to get hurt.

    I like the signing, but I would really like to see another established arm in the pen. I know pens are overrated, in the sense that spending money there doesn’t always pay off. Relievers don’t always pan out, from one year to the next, but still. DRobs never closed, and the set up men leave a lot to be desired. I’d have loved for them to sing a more established closer, and leave DRob for the 8th. Oh well.

    Ryan Madson’s elbow must be toast. He’s still out there after showcasing for teams.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy says:

      Wonder if we could scoop Madson on a deal tied to IP. Or if that’s what he’ll wind up signing, somewhere.

    • john says:

      yes, another arm in the bullpen would help, maybe they can still sign stephen drew to help out?

    • Hawkeye says:

      “Drobs never closed”

      I keep reading this. Mariano didn’t close until he did. Most every closer started as something else.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        It really is the silliest argument ever. A couple weeks ago they did Top Ten Right Now for relief pitchers (D-Rob was listed at 8) and Brian Kenny was talking about how if given a real chance (aka more than 2 or 3 chances) it has been proven again and again that a great set up man can be a great closer. Like you said, “most closers started as something else” and if you go and look at the top ten save leaders from 2013 you can see that. Apart from Kimbrel and Addison Reed there’s Jim Johnson (former starter), Greg Holland (former set-up man), Mo (former set up man), Joe Nathan (started his career as a swing man), Rafael Soriano (setup man until 2008), Aroldis Chapman (starter in Cuba), Sergio Romo (former set up man), and Balfour (really a Middle Reliever till a few years ago).

      • Tom K says:

        And I am always curious what people were saying about Mo after the Alomar HR in the 1997 playoffs. In this day and age of social media, we would have heard a lot about how he can’t close when it counts.

  18. Chris says:

    Typical Yankees low risk/high reward, scrap heap pickup. When you have the money to spread around, why the hell not? He has the possibility to be huge and if not, he costs nothing.

  19. RetroRob says:

    So no pitcher has ever truly recovered from this type of shoulder injury, yet he might help the Yankees down the stretch or in 2015?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      True, but it’s also a chance the team has taken before, most recently Wang, and will/should try again with. We shouldn’t get attached at all here, though.

      Someone will eventually be a genetic freak and prove the exception to the rule.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      Can anybody name some Pitchers that have come back after a torn capsule?

  20. Leg-End says:

    Worth a shot.

  21. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    Anyone know what’s going on with Hanrahan ?

  22. pinch hitter says:

    My 74 MPH heater and I will be ready to pitch 22/3 innings at the end of the 2015 season as well. And the Yankees will sell a lot more beer during my time on the mound, because they will be very long innings.

    Still, they probably made the right choice signing Bailey instead.

  23. qwerty says:

    This signing is pointless. If the yankees have to rely on Bailey at any time during the season for setting up or closing it’s all over.

  24. John Duci says:

    Great deal we need all the bullpen help we can get. Redox have the filthiest pen in the majors I can’t believe they added Munijica too . Crazy good there pen is

  25. John Duci says:

    Now go sign hanrahan and madson

  26. John Duci says:

    Now go sign hanrahan and madson and our bullpen would be a very very strong asset

  27. OldYanksFan says:

    FWIW – I found this:

    “Only a handful of pitchers – Johan Santana, Braden, Chris Young, Chien-Ming Wang – have had the surgery … Most people aren’t familiar with this kind of injury, but my impression, from talking to team medical people, is that plenty of pitchers are dealing with this kind of injury and just trying to strengthen the shoulder to avoid surgery. When most orthopedists won’t do it, the procedure is relatively new and the results uncertain, it’s unfair to blame Harden [for trying to avoid surgery]. He was repeatedly advised not to undergo surgery. You might recall that Braden had to visit several orthopedists last summer before finding one who would do surgery.

    That’s interesting for a couple reasons. As Slusser notes, “most” orthopedists won’t perform the procedure. New York pitchers don’t seem to have a problem getting recommendations for the surgery. Braden and Harden don’t have NYC connections, but all the others do. As does Tim Byrdak, who had the operation performed after Slusser wrote the post.

    For instance, this quote from Dr. Jonathon Glashow suggests that the injury is what matters, not the surgery. Regarding Santana, he says:

    The big distinction here, and the important distinction, is whether the rotator cuff is involved. If it’s simply the capsule, plus or minus the labrum to a small degree, his return is much more predictable and quick. If his cuff is damaged more than they think — and you may say, ‘Well, they have an MRI,’ but MRIs are less than perfect — then I think there’s a big question mark whether he comes back at the same level and how long it takes him to come back. Some MRIs are better than others. And even in the best-case scenario, it’s never until you look inside that you know exactly. The question is not going to be fully answered until somebody looks in there and says, ‘Hey, his cuff is fine. Great. It’s maybe five or six months.’”


    And this:

    “Bailey said he has a torn capsule in his shoulder, damage to his labrum and a strained “subscap” (subscapularis tendon, which is connected to the strongest of the four muscles that comprise the rotator cuff).”

    And this:

    “According to Bailey, all is well five weeks into his rehab following surgery last month to repair his torn labrum and torn capsule. Dr. David Altchek “was able to do everything he wanted to,” which included cleaning up Bailey’s rotator cuff, and the hurler is now attending physical therapy as he seeks to regain his range of motion.”

    Sounds like the guy was in pretty bad shape.

    I didn’t realize it, but this is the surgey that Wang had…. as well as Santana.

    Sounds like a real long shot that Bailey will ever pitch decently again.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Still worth the flyer. Someone will be the exception at some point.

    • Tom says:

      It is.

      Folks here just feel compelled to say “low risk high reward” or “shitloads to gain” as a knee jerk response to any MiLB signing without actually considering the injury involved or players who have dealt with it in the past. The surprising thing is Mike A even spelled it out and people I guess just read right past it anyway.

      I don’t think it is a bad signing, but I don’t understand where things like “high reward” and “lots of upside” are being kicked around with an injury like this.

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