The Red Sox appear to have their new pitching coach.
A major league source confirmed the Sox are nearing an agreement to hire Andrew Bailey as their new pitching coach. Bailey, 39, had spent the last four years as the pitching coach of the Giants following two years as a member of the Angels’ coaching staff. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the Sox were nearing an agreement with Bailey.
The pairing of Bailey and new Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow is an unsurprising one. The two were teammates for five seasons, first with the A’s from 2009-11, then with the Red Sox in 2012-13. They lived close to one another in Connecticut at the time and worked out together in the offseason. Bailey was also on the board of directors of Breslow’s Strike 3 Foundation, an organization dedicated for funding research in the fight against pediatric cancer.
But beyond their friendship, Bailey also emerged as a leading candidate due to strong work with the Giants pitching staff over the last four years. San Francisco had a 3.81 ERA over that stretch, sixth best in the big leagues in that time. Over the same span, Sox pitchers forged a 4.57 mark, 23rd in the big leagues.
Several pitchers have thrived under his tutelage. Kevin Gausman emerged as a Cy Young candidate under Bailey in 2021, then signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Blue Jays. Carlos Rodón spent one year with Bailey in 2022, finished sixth in Cy Young voting, then signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees. Giants ace Logan Webb is a Cy Young finalist this year.
Breslow made clear at last week’s GM Meetings in Arizona that hiring a pitching coach was a front-burner issue.
“Offseason days are precious, just given how productive they can be in terms of development for our players,” Breslow said. “Every day that our pitching staff doesn’t have a pitching coach, in my mind is a bit of a lost opportunity.”
Now, those days appear close to a conclusion.
The Red Sox did not add lefthander Shane Drohan to their 40-man roster, making him eligible for this year’s Rule 5 draft which will take place Dec. 6 during Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings. Drohan, 24, was a fifth-round pick by the Sox in 2020, posting a 1.32 ERA in six starts at Double A Portland. Nevertheless, he struggled at Triple A Worcester, registering a 6.47 ERA in 21 games (19 starts). The Red Sox protected just two players from the Rule 5 draft in righthanders Wikelman Gonzalez and Luis Perales.
Perales collected a 3.91 ERA between Single A Salem and High A Greenville. Despite not pitching above those levels he’s still just 20 years old.
Gonzalez, 21, struggled in six starts at Greenville as suggested by his 5.86 ERA in 15 starts, but saw more success at Double A Portland where he yielded a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts, striking out 63 batters in 48 ⅓ innings of work.