August 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan (52) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Done Deal: Pittsburgh Closer Hanrahan Seals Deal With Sox

There was a little flirtation and a Christmas holiday break but in the end Boston and Pittsburgh consummated a deal that moved Pirates’ closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. First the details.

August 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan (52) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Boston got Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt. Pittsburgh got pitchers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and utility infielder Jerry Sands.

This is a good deal for Boston. Over the past 3.5 years Hanrahan has been a workhorse. He has made the All-Star team twice, has a 2.47 ERA and in a closing role has pitched 228 innings.

Melancon was so bad in the first half of 2012 that he went to the minors – for a long time – to get his head screwed on straight. He was marginally better when he came back but ended the season with a 6.20 ERA and 0-2 record. In six minor league seasons Pimentel has been extremely average and is simply not a loss. Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands came to Boston as a bargaining chips in the Dodgers/Red Sox mega deal in August of 2012.

Hanrahan’s signing decidedly changes the complexion of Boston’s bullpen. Boston has a new closer, which means  Boston’s previous closer, Andrew Bailey, who was injured throughout much of the 2012 season, will be moving to a closer’s role  – and none too soon. Bailey had a 7.04 ERA in 2012. Now how much are you missing Jonathan Papelbon?

The move also gives Boston more flexibility with their middle inning relievers while also mercifully marginalizing Alfredo Aceves, the mouth that roared. Daniel Bard? Hmm…

I’m back 
I’m back in the saddle again 
I’m back 
I’m back in the saddle again
- I’m Back In The Saddle Again, Aerosmith

Tags: Boston Red Sox

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