Bailey: Yankees provide good opportunity

Bailey: Yankees provide good opportunity
March 18, 2014, 2:45 pm
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TAMPA -- Jacoby Ellsbury isn't the only member of the 2013 Red Sox now wearing the pinstripes of the Yankees. There's also reliever Andrew Bailey.
     
Bailey, who underwent shoulder surgery last summer and missed the second half of the season, signed a deal with the Yankees last month.
     
Bailey won't be ready to pitch in games until sometime after the All-Star break, but believes he will pitch again this season.
     
"This is something you can't rush back from,'' said Bailey. "The situation I'm in is great -- (I hope to) be healthy again for this year and hopefully get the option picked up again (for 2015). My goal is to help the guys out however I can (this year) and then look forward to being 100 percent ready to go for a full season next spring.''
     
He termed his experience the 2013 World Series champs "a real privilege and an honor. To be a part of that group last year was something special.''
     
Bailey, obtained in a December 2011 trade from Oakland, said he spoke "countless'' times with the Red Sox over the winter, but ultimately chose the Yankees.
     
''Living in Connecticut,'' said Bailey, "I'd drive up to Boston once a week to work (with the training staff). I was working with them pretty much until they left (for Florida) once a week. It was great. I just think there were certain things I was looking for in the deal helping out my family and (the Yankees) afforded me the opportunity.
     
"And also the patience aspect for the injuries is really key for me. It's just a good opportunity all around.''
     
Bailey has been throwing on flat ground from 120 feet and expects to get back on the mound in the coming weeks.
     
In two seasons with the Sox, Bailey saw both years interrupted by injuries. In 2012, he tore a thumb ligament in spring training and was out until August. Then last year, he developed shoulder sorness, attempted to pitch through it and finally was done by early July.
     
"It was very frustrating,'' he said. "You get brought in to do a job and I was kind of behind the eight ball with that out of the gate. It's very frustrating. You're supposed to be out there closing games for the Red Sox. Unfortunately, I wasn't healthy enough to do that, but playing in that city was something special. Not everybody gets to wear that uniform.''