In what has become a game of musical chairs, the song ended and the Boston Red Sox have paired up with their closer for 2012 as they acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon.
What surprised me most was Oakland's return for Bailey. After making out nicely in two previous trades this winter when the A's shipped out Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, Oakland received just the 17th and 25th ranked prospects in the Red Sox farm system (per Sox Prospects), and swapped outfielders with Ryan Sweeney heading to Boston, and Josh Reddick going west in return.
Raul Alcantara, just 19, and he of a live arm, was still ranked just the sixth best starting pitching prospect in the Red Sox system.
So what does this mean for Joakim Soria and the Royals? Well, it can be looked at from both sides of the coin. On one hand, Bailey now is off the market and Soria is probably the most marquee name still out there. With Boston off the board it does take away some leverage in trade discussions, however teams like the Los Angeles Angels are still looking for a closer. This is a positive if you are one who wants to see the Royals move Soria.
However on the other hand, the return Oakland received for Bailey doesn't excite me in seeing what the Athletics received in return. Reddick is thought by some to be nothing more than a fourth outfielder, while the two prospects are both in the low minors, and not exactly sure things.
To put this trade into perspective, it would be like Kansas City trading Soria and Mitch Maier, and in return receiving David Lough, Brian Fletcher, and possibly someone like Yordano Ventura. Ventura might not even best the best example, as he is ranked higher than Alcantara in a much deeper system.
Will the Royals trade Soria? After seeing what Oakland received on Wednesday it may make things tougher to swallow for Kansas City fans as the return may not be what we had hoped. Bailey has had issues with injuries in the past, while Soria showed signs of being worn down for long parts of last season. If anything was proved on Wednesday, it was Royals fans have yet another trade to compare any future Soria deal to.