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Red Sox acquire a closer

OAKLAND, Calif. — Bobby Valentine has found his new man for the back end of the Red Sox bullpen.

The Athletics traded All-Star closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to Boston on Wednesday for outfielder Josh Reddick, infield prospect Miles Head and minor-league pitcher Raul Alcantara.

In the deal, first reported by ESPN, Bailey gives the Red Sox a reliable ninth-inning guy to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon, who signed a $50 million, four-year contract as a free agent with the Phillies in November.

Bailey, the 2009 AL rookie of the year who made the All-Star team that season and again in 2010, has been the subject of trade talk in the offseason.

The right-handed Bailey, 27, had a 3.24 ERA and 24 saves in 412/3 innings and 42 appearances this year. He spent time on the disabled list for the second straight season, pitching for the first time in 2011 on May 29 after being sidelined with a strained right forearm.

Bailey becomes the fourth key pitcher traded this month for the rebuilding A's, who dealt starter Trevor Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow to the Diamondbacks on Dec. 9 and sent left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals on Dec. 22.

Reddick, 24, who began last season at Triple-A Pawtucket before being promoted in late May, will attempt to fill a big void in Oakland's open outfield, which has lost David DeJesus and Josh Willingham to free agency.

A-ROD OPERATION: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is fine after having special treatment on his right knee and left shoulder in Germany this month, the team said. Rodriguez, 36, had plasma-rich platelet injections after a recommendation from Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team gave its permission. In other Yankees news, former Red Sox left-handed reliever Hideki Okajima, 36, agreed to a minor-league deal.

NATIONALS: Free agent utility player Mark DeRosa, 36, signed a one-year contact.

Red Sox acquire a closer 12/28/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 8:55pm]
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