Sox announce Hanrahan deal

The Boston Red Sox on Wednesday acquired All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan and a prospect from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon and a trio of minor leaguers.

Also headed to Pittsburgh in the deal are pitcher Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands. Along with Hanrahan, the Red Sox also received infielder Brock Holt.

News that the Red Sox and Pirates were close to a deal broke earlier this week and the teams made the transaction official after the Christmas holiday.

The 31-year-old Hanrahan saved a total of 76 games over the last two seasons for the Pirates and is a year away from free agency. With incumbent closer Andrew Bailey still a question mark after a season in which he was injured for most of the year, then pitched ineffectively, it makes sense that the Sox would explore bullpen upgrades.

Hanrahan, an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, earned $4.1 million in 2012 and can expect a significant bump in salary arbitration, to close to $7 million.

He would join a formidable corps of relievers that could include Bailey, Koji Uehara, Alfredo Aceves, Junichi Tazawa, Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller and perhaps Daniel Bard, if the righthander can regain his old form.