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Modest Proposal
April 01, 2013
For the second straight off-season the Red Sox dipped into the trade market in their search for a replacement for departed closer Jonathan Papelbon, dealing reliever Mark Melancon to the Pirates for Joel Hanrahan. Boston now has three one-inning righthanded relievers with closer experience: Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara, whom they signed as a free agent. Manager John Farrell has an opportunity to break from closer-centric mold. The three hurlers are roughly equal in quality—in fact, Hanrahan's high walk rate (14% of batters faced last year) makes him the worst of the three. His edge on the other two is durability, but when healthy, Bailey and Uehara have both outpitched him. Uehara may be the steal of the winter, coming off a year in which he struck out 43 batters and walked three for the Rangers. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.97 to 1 is the best ever for anyone with at least 31 innings. Farrell should embrace his depth and escape the tyranny of the save rule in deciding who pitches when.
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April 01, 2013

Modest Proposal

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For the second straight off-season the Red Sox dipped into the trade market in their search for a replacement for departed closer Jonathan Papelbon, dealing reliever Mark Melancon to the Pirates for Joel Hanrahan. Boston now has three one-inning righthanded relievers with closer experience: Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara, whom they signed as a free agent. Manager John Farrell has an opportunity to break from closer-centric mold. The three hurlers are roughly equal in quality—in fact, Hanrahan's high walk rate (14% of batters faced last year) makes him the worst of the three. His edge on the other two is durability, but when healthy, Bailey and Uehara have both outpitched him. Uehara may be the steal of the winter, coming off a year in which he struck out 43 batters and walked three for the Rangers. His career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.97 to 1 is the best ever for anyone with at least 31 innings. Farrell should embrace his depth and escape the tyranny of the save rule in deciding who pitches when.

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