The Boston Red Sox have completed a six player deal that will bring Joel Hanrahan to the team in exchange for Mark Melancon and prospects. It is a deal that was first reported last weekend, but has now been consummated and made official on Wednesday.
The Red Sox have made no secret that Hanrahan will serve as the team’s closer, and that there will be no competition between he and Andrew Bailey, who was the incumbent closer from last season, once he came back from a lengthy injury.
The official deal has the Red Sox acquiring Hanrahan and Brock Holt from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Melancon, Yankory Pimentel, Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus. Melancon was acquired from the Houston Astros last offseason, but he failed to replicate the same success in Boston that he produced in Houston in 2011.
Pimentel and Sands were acquired by the Red Sox in the blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that helped Boston clear payroll by unloading Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. Their vacated salaries have led to the Red Sox acquiring Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster and Johnny Gomes.
By trading for Hanrahan, the Red Sox are sending the message that they feel the can contend this season. The bullpen was a very weak aspect of the Red Sox game in 2012, but should be much more formidable in 2013. Having Bailey and Hanrahan at the back end of the bullpen should be enough to win Boston a few more games than last season, which often saw the bullpen implode with a lead late in games.
Bailey appeared in just 19 games for the Red Sox in his debut season in Boston with an injury. He pitched inconsistently in his short time, leading the team to announce right off the bat that this is not a battle for the closer’s job. Bailey will set up Hanrahan, and Boston will have to hope for the best.
Of course, you know what they say about hoping and wishing in one hand while doing something else in the other, and then waiting to see which one fills up first. That more or less sums up the Red Sox over the past couple of seasons.
The post MLB Rumors: Boston Red Sox Acquire Joel Hanrahan To Replace Andrew Bailey As Closer appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.