BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox have completed a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for closer Joel Hanrahan, the team announced on Wednesday.
In a conference call with the Boston media, Red Sox assistant GM Brian O’Halloran said that manager John Farrell has already told Hanrahan he will be the team’s closer for the 2013 season, with Andrew Bailey serving as a set-up man.
The 31-year-old Hanrahan has been one of the best closers in baseball over the last two seasons, saving 76 games to go with his 2.74 ERA. In that span, he’s struck out 128 batters while holding opponents to a .205 batting average. Over his six-year Major League career with the Nationals (2007-09) and Pirates (2009-12), Hanrahan has 436 strikeouts over 397.1 innings of work, compiling a 22-17 record with 96 saves and a 3.74 ERA.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Red Sox and look forward to joining the great history of Boston and making some new history!!!” Hanrahan tweeted shortly after the trade was announced.
Hanrahan made $4,135,000 this year and is eligible for arbitration and is in line for a hefty raise. He will also be a free agent following the 2013 season.
In addition to the two time All-Star, the Red Sox acquired infielder Brock Holt from the Pittsburgh in exchange for right-handed pitchers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands.
Holt, 24, was selected by Pittsburgh in the ninth round of the 2009 June Draft and made his Major League debut with the Pirates in September, hitting .292 (19-for-65) in 24 games.
As for what Boston shipped out, they send two players that were acquired in August’s blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sands and De Jesus. Sands earned Pacific Coast League Post-Season All-Star honors last year after leading all Triple-A batters with 107 RBI in 119 games for Los Angeles’ Triple-A Albuquerque club, and finished third in the league with 26 home runs.
De Jesus appeared in a career-high 31 games last season, including eight for Boston after the trade. He was designated for assignment on November 20 and sent to Pawtucket a few days later.
Melancon, who was acquired from Houston last offseason for infielder Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland, made 41 relief appearances for the Red Sox in 2012, posting a 6.20 ERA. After his dismal start to the season, Melancon found himself in the minors where he made 21 relief appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket, tallying 11 saves to go with his 0.83 ERA.
The 22-year-old Pimentel went 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA with 86 strikeouts and 42 walks in a team-high 22 starts for Double-A Portland in 2012.