The Red Sox on Wednesday snuffed out any potential closer controversy before it could begin, saying that the newly acquired Joel Hanrahan will get the job and that incumbent Andrew Bailey will move to a setup role.
Red Sox assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran made the announcement on a conference call with reporters.
Bailey pitched ineffectively in his first year with the Red Sox. He had six saves in nine chances and posted a 7.04 ERA in just 15 1/3 innings. A freak thumb injury in spring training that required surgery kept him on the shelf for most of the season.
On Dec. 1, long before the Hanrahan move, Bailey told reporters he was looking forward to healthy season as the team's closer in 2013.
"They traded for me for a reason," he said. "Last year was very frustrating on a lot of counts. Even when I was healthy, I didn't do my job to my full expectations or the organization's expectations. I'm taking that into my offseason workout, knowing that I've got to hammer down games for this organization and this team and we've got to get to the playoffs.
"That's where my mindset is, and anything else happens, I'm just looking forward to throwing a lot of innings this year," he said. "My performance last year, I'll be the first to say wasn't who I was and wasn't anything I was proud of. This year I'm going to go out and do my job. I'm looking forward from Day 1 to the end of the World Series pitching for this organization."