The Oakland A’s added some pitching depth last week, and in typical fashion it came in the form of a familiar face.
The A’s signed Homer Bailey to a minor league contract last Tuesday, per his player page on MLB’s website. The right-hander was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas and is listed on the Aviators roster.
This marks Bailey’s second tour in Oakland’s organization. He was acquired by the A’s in July 2019 and was mostly excellent in 13 starts down the stretch, with the club winning eight of those games. The next winter he signed with the Twins, but he pitched only two games for Minnesota due to right biceps tendinitis — he appeared once in late July, then missed two months on the injured list, and then returned for one more outing in late September.
Now age 35, Bailey’s most recent work came as part of Team USA in the Olympic Qualifier tournament this spring. He started once against Team Canada in April, recording 10 outs and allowing just one on a solo homer.
- Bailey, Team USA: 3⅓ ip, 1 run, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HR, 4 hits, 53 pitches
The dinger was hit by Jacob Robson, a prospect in the Tigers system who’s currently crushing Triple-A.
He hasn’t pitched a lot lately, but since the beginning of 2019 when he’s taken the mound he’s been effective.
Analysis: You can never have too much pitching. The addition of Bailey gives the A’s another veteran arm on their depth chart, whether it ends up being as a starter or in relief, and he doesn’t need a 40-man roster spot until/unless they decide to call him up.
The current rotation of Bassitt, Manaea, Montas, Irvin, and Kaprielian is doing great, but behind them the options (Luzardo, Jefferies) are young and inexperienced, especially since longtime workhorse Mike Fiers won’t be back from the IL anytime soon. The bullpen has received a lot of work and has cracked a few times lately, and they can always use another quality arm to soak up innings.
Bailey has helped this A’s club before. Maybe he can again! And if he doesn’t pan out this time then it didn’t cost anything to try, with a month yet to go until the trade deadline.