Two all-star closers have now joined the fray in the competition to replace Ken Giles as the Phillies go-to closer. Edward Mujica, who saved 37 games for the Cardinals in 2013 and Andrew Bailey, who saved 75 games between 2009 and 2011 for the Oakland A's, signed minor league deals with the Phillies Thursday.
Bailey broke in strong with Oakland, becoming the A's closer in his first major league season and being selected for the American League All-Star Team in both 2009 and 2010. During those two seasons, the 31-year old right-hander from Voorhees, New Jersey, saved 51 games while posting a 1.70 ERA for Oakland. He came down to Earth a little in 2011 when his ERA reached 3.24 on the season, but he still saved 24 games. He was also named the American League Rookie of the Year in 2009.
Oakland traded Bailey to the Red Sox following the 2011 season in the deal that brought Josh Reddick to the A's. Bailey suffered injuries over the next few seasons, including missing the entire 2014 season with a shoulder injury. The problems started in 2012 when Bailey underwent reconstructive surgery on his right thumb and finished the season with just 19 appearances and a 7.04 ERA with the Red Sox. The following season, he also missed time, but did step into the closer's role temporarily in mid-April replacing an injured Joel Hanrahan and saved eight games for Boston, posting a 3.77 ERA in 30 relief appearances. After the all-star break, he underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn capsule and labrum and missed the rest of the season, resulting in him being non-tendered by the Sox.
Bailey went on to sign with the Yankees, but continued to have setbacks from the shoulder surgery and missed the entire season. He returned last season after re-signing with the Yankees and pitched in ten games with a 5.19 ERA. While pitching in the minors last season, Bailey was a combined 3-0 with six saves in 28 games with a 1.80 minor league ERA.
Mujica, 31, has pitched in the majors with the Padres, Cardinals, Marlins, Red Sox, Indians and A's over ten major league seasons, saving 50 games and posting an ERA of 3.85 in 494 games. In 2013, he pitched in 65 games with the Cardinals and saved 37 earning a spot on the National League All-Star Team. Mujica has been traded four times in his career, including last May when the Red Sox dealt him to the Oakland A's. After his 37-save season with St. Louis, Mujica signed a two-year, $9.5-million deal with Boston, but wound up saving just eight games with a 4.03 ERA for the Red Sox before being dealt to Oakland. Mujica pitched in 38 games with the A's and posted a 4.81 ERA during his stint with Oakland.