St. Louis Cardinals

Angels reliever Andrew Bailey didn't waste much time as a free agent this off-season

Angels reliever Andrew Bailey didn't waste much time as a free agent this off-season

In 1969, St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Curt Flood started carving the path toward free agency in professional sports, and in 1976, it became official: After six years of major league service, ballplayers could choose their next team on their own.

Angels reliever Andrew Bailey might be one of the first men since to not know he was becoming a free agent. The 32-year-old reached six years of service by three days last September, but believed he’d be arbitration-eligible until a reporter asked about his plans and he checked with his agent.

“I had no idea,” Bailey said this week at spring training, where he’s competing against Huston Street and Cam Bedrosian...

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