Yankees sign Andrew Bailey to minor league deal

Open Thread: 2/22 Camp Notes
Yankees agree to four-year extension with Brett Gardner

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.

Open Thread: 2/22 Camp Notes
Yankees agree to four-year extension with Brett Gardner
  • gman

    Low risk, high reward. Sure. Why not

    • nycsportzfan

      without a doubt. This is one of those more to gain and less to lose situations.

  • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

    What the heck, why not roll the dice.

  • CashmanNinja

    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.

  • forensic

    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

      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

        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.

        • ALZ

          But even if he isn’t the pitcher he once was it is a great deal. Even if he is an experienced middle reliever, that is bargain when Logan making $5.5M a year to be a LOOGy.

          • nyyankfan_7

            Logan is far from a LOOGY.

      • Guns

        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

        Pineda had a tear. Not the same thing.

  • Jsbrendog

    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.

  • NeilT

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

  • lightSABR

    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.

    • vicki

      curse of the andino. what a night.

      • lightSABR

        I still read Bill Simmons’ running diary of it once a year or so for kicks: http://grantland.com/features/a-running-diary-game-162/

        Hilarious. Like you said, what a night.

        • Mister D

          I think their collapse happened around hour 13 of my wife going 26 maybe 3 miles from Fenway. Really great little cherry on what was already going to be my best day ever.

          • Mister D

            (26 in labor. Key word omission.)

            • lightSABR

              Did you name the kid Robert? :D

              • Mister D

                I have a daughter. But yes.

                (Thanks for the link, I’d never seen it. Seeing sad Simmons time stamps made me love that it all happened just barely on her birthday even a little bit more.)

                • vicki

                  that’s tremendous.

    • lightSABR

      Ha – I just realized, he wasn’t on the Sox then, so that’s probably not when I thought about him last. For some reason my brain has him associated with the Sox losing big. I wonder if the Yankees roughed him up sometime in the last two years.

  • Mike

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

  • FIPster Doofus

    I love this.

  • lightSABR

    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

      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

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

        • Steve (different one)

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

          • FIPster Doofus

            You’re right. Thanks.

          • BamBamMusings

            Elston Howard went to the Sox. Actually, Babe Ruth went back to Boston too, but that was with the Braves.

        • MartinRanger

          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

        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

      2/30 for Mo, rings a bell.

  • Dalek Jeter

    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

      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.

    • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

      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

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

  • Steve (different one)

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

    Cool story, bro….

    • tcMiller30

      I was the same exact way. Always confused them.

  • Wicomico Pinstripes

    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.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

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

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    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.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    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.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      Add Ramirez to the mix and thats some serious potential compared to the current stable.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      I think we have to pencil Betances into the pen breaking camp with the team, no? (Meaning, not a 2nd half call up).

  • dicka24

    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

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

    • john

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

    • Hawkeye

      “Drobs never closed”

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

      • Dalek Jeter

        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).

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And that’s just current MLB pitchers.

        • Crono

          Mo (former Starter and Set-up Man)*

      • Tom K

        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.

  • Chris

    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.

  • RetroRob

    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

      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

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

  • Leg-End

    Worth a shot.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Anyone know what’s going on with Hanrahan ?

  • pinch hitter

    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.

  • qwerty

    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.

    • John C

      How do you know? Are you a scout? Shut up and let the FO make the decisions

      • Jorge Steinbr

        He scouts for Troll Weekly. The alternative is hard to fathom.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Lost half a screen name there.

  • John Duci

    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

  • John Duci

    Now go sign hanrahan and madson

  • John Duci

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

  • OldYanksFan

    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

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

    • Tom

      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.