There's a potential deal in the works to bring back another high-leverage reliever to the Red Sox
According to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes, the Red Sox are "close" to trading for Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Joel Hanrahan. If you were hoping for any information besides that, such as who else is rumored to be involved, then prepare to be disappointed.
It was reported by USA Today's John Perrotto on Friday that the Pirates were targeting Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias in a Hanrahan deal. No other names have been discussed, either heading to the Red Sox or leaving them, so this is all very up in the air right now.
Edes also cautions that one official says that there was still "work to be done." That, more than anything, makes you believe this is going to be something larger than simply Iglesias for Hanrahan. And that could end up being a good thing, as Iglesias straight-up for Hanrahan seems a little odd for the Red Sox, unless they plan on moving some bullpen depth elsewhere in a separate deal, or they internally believe he's never going to hit and therefore his value is at its peak now. That reliever package could even happen in this deal: the Red Sox have too many right-handed relief options as is, and if they can combine a few of them together and bring Hanrahan back, that's not a bad plan.
Hanrahan struggled with his walk rate in 2012, but a lot of that went down in September, when he threw just nine innings but walked 10. Prior to that, his walk rate for the year was 4.6 -- that's not great, but when you strike out over 10 batters per nine, it's not going to hurt much, either. Especially not when opponents have managed just 7.8 hits per nine against you over the last four years, and just seven in his three full years with the Pirates.