One of the first deadlines of the offseason involved decisions on options for next season. Last weekend, the Yankees had to decide whether they would pick up or decline their $2 million option on Andrew Bailey. They ultimately decided to decline it, then they turned around and re-signed the right-hander to a new minor league contract.
This was pretty much a win-win situation as they saved a few million dollars and were able to bring Bailey back to see if he is able to rebound from his shoulder ailments. They originally signed him during spring training, but he was unable to pitch in a single game as he spent the duration of the season rehabbing a major shoulder injury. The injury first occurred back in July 2013 when he was still with the Red Sox. At the time, they said he had damage to his labrum and a strained subscapularis tendon in addition to a torn shoulder capsule.
When healthy, Bailey has shown the ability to be a great reliever. Over his career he's averaged 9.37 K/9, 2.85 BB/9, 0.83 HR/9, 2.64 ERA and 3.13 FIP. During his most recent season with the Red Sox, he increased his strikeouts up to 12.24 K/9, though that also came with an increase in walks, up to 3.77 per 9. He ended his shortened 2013 season with an ERA of 3.77 and FIP of 4.76 through 28.2 IP.
Unfortunately, it sounds as though Bailey experienced multiple setbacks with his throwing program during the 2014 season. We might never see him make it back to the majors, but at least the new contract is very low-risk and has the potential to be high-reward if he can get his rehab back on track. If it works, great. If not, at least the team won't be throwing away all that money.
What do you think about the decision to re-sign Bailey to a new contract?