Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/21/13
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Joel Hanrahan hasn’t pitched in a game for the Red Sox yet, but he’s already a big fan of the organization. Hanrahan, who will be a free agent after this season, said Wednesday that he’s willing to talk if the Red Sox are interested in extending his contract. “It has been great here so far,” Hanrahan said, according to The Boston Globe. “I didn’t know what to expect, being traded over here. But I was a fan of this team before and I’ve enjoyed everything about it. If they want to talk about something, I would listen.” There’s a good chance the Red Sox will wait and see how Hanrahan performs this season before considering an extension, but the 31-year-old has proven to be a valuable closer in recent years. Hanrahan saved 36 games for the Pirates last season and 40 the year before. He was named to the National League All-Star team in both seasons. The Red Sox recently steered clear when it came to extending Jonathan Papelbon, who is considered one of the best closers in baseball, so perhaps they’ll be reluctant to shell out a big contract to Hanrahan. If the big righty thrives this season, though, the Sox might find it tempting to lock him up long term. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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