Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Red Sox assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran revealed that recently acquired reliever Joel Hanrahan will be the Red Sox' closer going into spring training. Andrew Bailey, whom the Sox acquired last offseason but was limited to just 15 2/3 inning last season due to a thumb injury, will be a setup man.
O'Halloran said that manager John Farrell has told both players of their roles.
"I spoke with John earlier, and he has spoken with both Bailey and Hanrahan, so I don’t mind sharing with you that John plans to go into the spring with Hanrahan as the closer," O'Halloran said. "He talked to Andrew. We see Andrew as playing a very important role in the back end of our bullpen as well. There will be plenty of opportunities for him to help us win games in key situations late in the game, and we know he’s very capable both of closing and pitching in other high-leverage situations at the ends of games.
"It’s not too often you get a chance to add a two-time All-Star closer to the mix, so we’re excited to do that with Joel. We think it will strengthen the group and make everybody better out there."
Last season, Hanrahan converted 36 of 40 save opportunities and posted a 2.72 ERA for the Pirates. He has been an All-Star in each of the last two seasons.
For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox .