Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell wasted little time in deciding who will be the closer for 2013. Joel Hanrahan was chosen over incumbent Andrew Bailey, nipping in the bud any potential for a closer controversy heading into spring training.
Hanrahan was acquired in a six player trade that sent right-handers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and first baseman Jerry Sands to the Pirates in exchange for Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt.
Bailey missed most of 2012 after sustaining an injury to his right thumb in spring training. Bailey did finish the season with 19 appearances, securing six saves in nine opportunities with a 7.04 ERA.
Hanrahan has had 76 saves since 2011, and has struck out an average of 9.9 batters per nine innings pitched in his career, although his walk ratio has increased from 2.1 to 5.4 per nine innings.
“His stuff, as I’m sure you’ve seen, is right at the top of the scale. He’s got a fastball in the upper 90s, and when he’s right, his slider is as good as anybody’s in baseball,” assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran said. “I spoke with John earlier, and he has spoken with both Bailey and Hanrahan, so I don’t mind sharing with you that John plans to go into the spring with Hanrahan as the closer. He talked to Andrew.”