Red Sox Officially Acquire All-Star Closer Joel Hanrahan from Pirates

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2012

The Boston Red Sox gave themselves a late Christmas present on Wednesday, officially acquiring All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six-player trade. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the news via Twitter:

#redsox announce they have acquired hanrahan and brock holt in 6 player trade

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 26, 2012

 

The Red Sox also received infielder Brock Holt in the deal, while the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and outfielder Jerry Sands (via ESPNBoston.com).

Melancon has the most major league experience of the players being shipped to Pittsburgh. He compiled a 6.20 ERA in 45 innings as a reliever last season, but had a much better showing for the Houston Astros in 2011, saving 20 games with a 2.78 ERA over 74.1 innings.

For the Red Sox, Hanrahan is the centerpiece of the deal. The closer saved 76 games in the last two years and has been one of the top relievers in the game over that stretch.

Although his ERA jumped from a 1.83 in 2011 to a 2.72 in 2012, he still posted solid numbers across the board and should be able to succeed in the American League.

Heyman also reports that the plan is to keep him as the closer while demoting Andrew Bailey to eighth-inning duties. 

#redsox wise to remake pen. andrew bailey, i think, will make a fine set-up man. plan to have hanrahan close makes sense

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 26, 2012

 

With players like Koji Uehara and Alfredo Aceves also in the mix, Boston now boasts one of the better bullpens in the toughest division in baseball.