For Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan has retired. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)
The Opening Day closer for the last Red Sox world championship team has retired.
Joel Hanrahan announced on MLB on TuneIn that was retiring after a seven-year major league career.
The 35-year-old reliever’s stint in Boston was a short one, having pitched in just nine games with the Red Sox before succumbing to Tommy John surgery just a month into the 2013 season.
Hanrahan was slated to become the answer to the Red Sox’ late-inning issues after a 2012 season that saw Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves fail to thrive in the closing role. The Red Sox would deal Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands to the Pirates for Hanrahan and Brock Holt prior to the ’13 season.
At the time of the deal, Hanrahan was one of the game’s best closers, having saved a combined 76 games over 2011 and ’12 while making the National League All-Star team in each season.
Throwing a fastball that lived near 100 mph, the righty left an impression on Red Sox fans, blowing through the heart of an impressive Boston lineup for two straight games in Pittsburgh, July 24-25, 2011.
Hanrahan’s short career with the Red Sox started well enough, with the closer not allowing a run in any of his initial three outings. The closer’s set-up men to start the 2013 season were Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa.
But he would go on to blow his final three save opportunities, ultimately pitching what would be his final major league game, May 6, 2013.
Hanrahan did sign deals with the Tigers for 2014 and ’15, but never took the mound again, even at the minor-league level.
Melancon has, of course, gone on to become one of the game’s best closers, saving 147 of his 162 chances for Pittsburgh and Washington, totaling a 1.80 ERA. The 31-year-old is due to make an enormous pay day this offseason, joining Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen as the three top relievers in the open market.