The Red Sox have been methodically moving through their roster, adding pieces here and there to fill the holes left by the August housecleaning that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers and otherwise shoring up the 93-loss team.
On Saturday, the club reportedly used a piece from that very same Dodgers trade to get some bullpen help.
The Red Sox are said to have acquired Pittsburgh reliever Joel Hanrahan in return for prospects Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimentel in a deal that is still in the works, according to reports. Sands came to the Red Sox in the August trade with Los Angeles.
While Hanrahan will certainly be a boost for any pitching staff, what complicates the matter is that he’s been an All-Star closer for two seasons — and the Red Sox already have a closer or two. Andrew Bailey, who missed much of last season after a fluke injury coming out of spring training, and Alfredo Aceves, who held down the closer job for most of the season, both appear to be more than able to take care of the ninth-inning job.
The Red Sox may just be strengthening their bullpen altogether, beefing up the eighth-inning setup role. Or they may be spoiling to flip another trade, with Aceves valued by other teams for his ability to start or eat innings in relief. Trading Bailey has also been mentioned this offseason.
Opening Day is a long way off, but it’s never too soon to start speculating. With Hanrahan reportedly in the fold, who takes care of closer job for the Red Sox in 2013?