Bobby Valentine has found his new man for the back end of the Boston bullpen.
The Oakland Athletics traded All-Star closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to the Red Sox 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 Philadelphia.
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 this offseason.
The right-handed Bailey, 27, went 0-4 with a 3.24 ERA and 24 saves in 41⅔ innings and 42 appearances this year. He spent time on the disabled list for the second consecutive season.
RANGERS: The mother of a Texas firefighter who died reaching to snag a baseball thrown by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton last summer says she wants the star player to keep tossing souvenirs into the stands.
SuZann Stone said Wednesday that taking home a game ball is a special memory. She said she made her plea to Hamilton in a letter not long after 39-year-old Shannon Stone died when he tumbled over a railing and plunged 20 feet onto concrete July 7 during a game at Rangers Ballpark.
Shannon Stone was trying to catch the ball for his 6-year-old son, Cooper, who witnessed the incident.
The late firefighter’s mother says it would be sad for Hamilton to quit tossing balls to fans “because that’s what little boys and their daddies go for.”
YANKEES: The team said star third baseman Alex Rodriguez is fine after having special treatment on his right knee and left shoulder in Germany earlier this month.
The 36-year-old Rodriguez had plasma-rich platelet injections following a recommendation from Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that the team gave its permission after vetting the process.
Rodriguez’s treatment was first reported by the New York Post.
Cashman says Major League Baseball and WADA have approved the procedure, and that it is also performed in the United States.
The Yankees say Rodriguez went to the doctor in Germany because he’s at the top of this field. Rodriguez had surgery on his right knee last July.