After an embarrassing 2012 campaign, the Boston Red Sox have been on a mission all offseason to retool their roster.

According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, that retooling will continue, as the Red Sox are close to a  trade that will send Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston in exchange for a package that includes Jerry Sands:


UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 22 at 4:51 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

The deal has been confirmed and we have some more details on the players involved. According to Bowden, pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel will also be headed to Pittsburgh:

—End of Update—


UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 22 at 4:20 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

Well, it looks like Bowden spoke a little too soon, as the deal is not completed, but in the “final stages:

We’ll keep you up to date to when and if this deal gets fully completed. 

—End of Update—


Acquiring Hanrahan continues the Red Sox’s closer carousel in the little over a year since they lost Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.

The team had initially planned to go with right-handed flamethrower Daniel Bard, but scrapped that plan and acquired Andrew Bailey last December. However, injuries and ineffectiveness marred Bailey’s 2012 campaign, as long reliever Alfredo Aceves wound up notching 25 saves.

General manager Ben Cherington ostensibly hopes Hanrahan will bring back much-needed stability at the position. The 31-year-old righty notched 76 saves over the past two seasons with the Pirates, making the All-Star team in both years and becoming a fan favorite at PNC Park.

Nevertheless, Hanrahan stands to get a hefty raise this winter in arbitration and has just one year remaining until he hits the open market. With the small-market Pirates always looking to stay one step ahead of the financial curve, Boston’s package of players was simply too much to risk.

For the Red Sox, they are getting a guy whose play has hit an apex as a closer and are getting him at relatively minimal risk. If Hanrahan joins the long line of players who could not hack it under the Boston spotlight, then it’s simply chalked up as a one-year experiment, and both sides move on.

Oftentimes in trades, pundits rush to declare winners and losers. This seems like a rare instance where both sides can walk away happy with the haul they received from the other.


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