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Joel Hanrahan, not Andrew Bailey, will be Red Sox’s closer

Dec 26, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

While the Red Sox were finalizing their deal for Joel Hanrahan it was widely assumed that he’d begin 2013 as a setup man for closer Andrew Bailey, but now that the deal is official that won’t be the case.

Assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran told reporters today that manager John Farrell was given the choice between Bailey and Hanrahan as closer and opted for Hanrahan.

Bailey was a stud closer for the A’s before the Red Sox acquired him last offseason, but missed most of the season with a thumb injury and struggled in 19 appearances during the final six weeks. Hanrahan saved 36 games this year and 40 games in 2011, throwing 128 innings with a 2.24 ERA and 128 strikeouts during that time.

Meanwhile, the Pirates have already announced that Jason Grilli will replace Hanrahan as their closer.

  1. modellforprez - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM


    • bobwsc - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      that’s a tough act to follow. for once I eagerly await what ProudlyCanadian has to say.

      • soxfan1966 - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Probably some easily dismissable scribble.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      That drivel was rather illiterate wasn’t it. It does make sense for the Red Sox to go with the guy who had the most success last year.

      • soxfan1966 - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        I stand corrected. ProudlyCanadian’s comment was sensible and intelligent.

    • anybodyinhere - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      See, this is why leftover egg nog should really be refrigerated…

    • cowboysoldiertx - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      But how do you really feel?

      This move only made sense.

  2. rgf1982 - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    the pirates are always eager to shit on current talent for the potential of future talent. so hard being a fan of this team

  3. tfbuckfutter - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Sweet. Good to know the closer’s role is nailed down.

    Now we won’t have to worry about roughly 30 of the 70 or so games the Sox actually build a lead in.

  4. chacochicken - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    What if Andrew Bailey grows an absurd looking beard? Will they be co-closers? Why bother with naming a closer in December anyway?

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Why bother naming a closer at any point when you “fortified” your lineup with Shane Victorino and Johnny Gomes?

      • chacochicken - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Fortified with Vitamins V and G

  5. martysbetter - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Trade peanuts for closer > Use closer for first half of season > Trade closer to contender at deadline > Profit.

    Not too hard to figure out folks.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM


      Like the Red Sox aren’t going to plod along this entire season deluding themselves into believing they are “in contention for realz you guys, cmon!”

  6. Glenn - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Why is there a need to ever announce who a closer is at any time, especially months before the season starts? The only thing more pointless is announcing that a particular reliever is unavailable for a particular game. Why give the other team useful information? Bill James’ “closer by committee” idea has taken a beating in the popular press, but what is wrong with going with the best match-up based on situation, hot hand, etc.,? The concept doesn’t mean that you don’t need Mariano Rivera, it just means that you use him at the optimal time – which might be in the 7th inning of a one run game with the middle of the order up, not in the 9th with a three run lead.

    • nolasoxfan2012 - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      Theo always said that the closer-by-committee thing probably would have worked if they hadn’t said anything about it and had instead just done it. Gotta’ wonder if they aren’t setting up to do just that, maybe calling Hanrahan the “closer,” but using Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa, etc. when it seems best. Bill James is supposed to have a more active role now. Farrell is close with the baseball ops guys. Could happen…

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:41 PM

        The closer-by-committee thing actually might have worked if the Sox bullpen hadn’t been so butt-effingly-awful when they tried it before.

        “Ok, we’re going into the 9th….who is hotter, Chad Fox or Todd Jones….”

  7. raulduke11 - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Your move Mr. Urbina

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