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12/26/2012 - 4:51pm
Farrell tells Bailey Hanrahan's the closer
By: DJ Bean

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...

12/26/2012 - 4:40pm
Ugueth Urbina released from prison
By: DJ Bean

Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina, who pitched for the Red Sox from 2001-02, has reportedly been released from prison in Venezuela after being convicted of attempted murder in 2007. 

Urbina allegedly assaulted five workers on his farm in 2005 with a machete and poured gasoline on them because he believed they stole a gun from him. He was sentenced to over 14 years in prison, but reportedly was released on good behavior. 

Juan Urbina, Urbina's son and a pitcher in the Mets organization, tweeted two pictures of him with Urbina, one of which had the caption, "Finalmente con mi Padre! [Finally with my father!]"

The 38-year-old played baseball in prison and can still throw 90 mph....

12/26/2012 - 3:43pm
Red Sox make Drew signing official
By: DJ Bean

The Red Sox announced the signing of shortstop Stephen Drew on Wednesday, making his one-year, $9.5 million deal official. 

The 29-year-old agreed to join the Sox last week after finishing last season with the Athletics. Prior to a midseason trade to Oakland, he had spent the first six-plus seasons of his career playing for the Diamondbacks, who selected him 15th overall in the 2004 draft. 

Between the A's and Diamondbacks last season, Drew hit .223/.309/.348 with seven homers and 28 runs batted in over 79 games. He will wear No. 7 for the Red Sox, which was worn by his brother, outfielder J.D. Drew, in Boston from 2007-11. 

For more Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox


12/26/2012 - 1:53pm
Red Sox finalize Hanrahan trade

The Red Sox on Wednesday announced that they have completed a trade with the Pirates for two-time All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan. The Sox also receive second baseman Brock Holt while sending right-handed reliever Mark Melancon, right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands to Pittsburgh.

Hanrahan, 31, was fifth in the National League with 36 saves (out of 40 chances) in 2012. He had a 2.72 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .187 batting average and recording a WHIP of 1.274. He did not allow an inherited runner to score all season. He is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

Holt, 24, hit .292/.329/.354 in 24 games in 2012, his first in the majors.

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.


12/26/2012 - 1:30pm
Belichick: Gronk 'not ready yet'

FOXBORO -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday that the medical staff will dictate whether Rob Gronkowski plays this week in the regular season finale against the Dolphins this weekend at Gillette Stadium. Heading into Wednesday's walk-through indoors at the Dana-Farber Field House, Belichick said Gronkowski wasn't ready yet.  

"We'll see how he is," Belichick said. "He did more last week than the week before and we'll see where he's at [Wednesday and Thursday] when we go out [to practice], we'll see what he can do. We'll take it day-to-day, we'll make decisions day-to-day based on where he's at. He's moving along [but] not ready yet. We'll take it day-to-day and see how it goes."

Gronkowski broke his left forearm on Nov. 18 against the Colts and had surgery the next day. He was expected to miss 4-6 weeks and has missed five games so far with the injury. 

"I think those are decisions...

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