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January 9, 2013

With Hanrahan in the mix, don't forget about Bailey

BOSTON — When the Red Sox added Joel Hanrahan, who saved 76 games combined for Pittsburgh the past two seasons while making two NL All-Star teams, Boston co-assistant GM Brian O’Halloran pointed out, “It’s not too often that you get a chance to add a two-time All-Star closer to the mix.”

To set the record straight though, the Red Sox actually have acquired a two-time All-Star closer each of the past two offseasons.

With Hanrahan in the mix, don’t be quick to disregard Andrew Bailey.

Bailey, who the Red Sox acquired via a trade last offseason, was as good of a closer as you could get during his first two years (2009, 2010) in the majors. He made the American League All-Star team each of those years and won the ‘09 AL Rookie of the Year.

Some have speculated that with Hanrahan aboard, Boston might trade Bailey, who missed the first four and a half months of last season then posted a dreadful 7.04 ERA and blew three of nine save opportunities after returning in mid-August.

Why trade Bailey though?

After all, his trade value right now is at an all-time low, and he is projected to make only $3.9 million this year after salary arbitration, according to MLBTradeRumors.com. He also is under the Red Sox control through 2014 while Hanrahan can leave as a free agent after this season.

Here is a way to look at it — the Boston Red Sox have two really talented closers in Hanrahan and Bailey, both of whom they should hold onto for the time being. Together, they provide an electric 1-2 punch late in games.

Hanrahan received a tour of Fenway Park yesterday, then met with the media. He will enter spring training as the closer.

Bailey will enter as a setup man. Manager John Farrell has informed both of their roles.

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