The Boston Red Sox need a closer and they are eying Pittsburgh’s
Joel Hanrahan. One of the weak and inconsistent spots for Boston last season was in that all-important area. Things have not been the same since Jon Papelbon left. Hanrahan could be the right guy for the job.
Hanrahan had fine numbers in 2011. That season, he notched 40 saves with a 1.83 ERA and 1.049 WHIP. That year, the righty walked only 16 batters. But in 2012 he had control issues as he walked 36 and recorded 36 saves with a 2.72 ERA and 1.274 WHIP. The big guy has a great slider and when he has control he is lights out.
The Pirates are looking for a starter and the Red Sox may be able to offer Pittsburgh Franklin Morales or Alfredo Aceves. But this is not a done deal. The Pirates would probably prefer Felix Doubront and that could simply be a deal breaker. Doubront proved to be the best of all Red Sox starters last season. Plus, the Los Angeles Dodgers are also interested in Hanrahan.
Can Cherington Pull it Off?
Here’s the big question—can Boston GM Ben Cherington get the deal done? The Red Sox have made what I would call some okay deals but nothing the like the Toronto Blue Jays, who have stepped up their game big time. The Yankees have also improved their lot and Baltimore is strong. Along with wondering if Cherington can pull off the deal is an even bigger question- can the Red Sox compete in the AL East?
One thing I feel certain about is that the Red Sox will have a much better clubhouse environment. I think new manager John Farrell will be a great stabilizing force and there will be a whole new feel to the team than there was last year under Bobby Valentine. Also, David Ortiz has been resigned—that will be a major factor for this team. But where will the Red Sox be in 2013?
I think they will be a better team than they were last season and certainly win more games. But can they win enough to be competitive? Adding a quality closer will get them closer to that goal. There’s a long way to go until the season starts in April and a lot of work to do.