BOSTON — If Joel Hanrahan can do for the Boston Red Sox what he did against them, they should be very happy with their new closer.
In the first of his two All-Star seasons, the right-hander posted back-to-back saves for the Pittsburgh Pirates with perfect ninth innings against the Red Sox in June 2011. He struck out Adrian Gonzalez, who entered the series batting .359, to end the second game.
“When people look back on me as a Pirate, that’s the one that stands out the most to them,” Hanrahan said Wednesday after being obtained in a six-player trade.
People such as Red Sox assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran.
“It definitely made an impression on me,” he said. “It was not fun to be in the batter’s box against Joel Hanrahan.”
Now American League hitters will see what it’s like.
Boston completed the deal Wednesday, also receiving infielder Brock Holt. The Red Sox gave up right-handers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands.
The Red Sox also announced the signing of free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who agreed to a one-year contract early last week. That reported $9.5 million deal was contingent on the former Oakland Athletic and Arizona Diamondback, who broke his ankle in 2011, passing a physical.
“We feel that he’s going to be fully healthy for us,” O’Halloran said.
The acquisition of Drew and Hanrahan are the latest in a series of moves designed to improve on a 69-93 record and a last-place finish in the AL East. The Red Sox already have obtained right-handers Ryan Dempster and Koji Uehara, outfielders Shane Victorino and Johnny Gomes and catcher David Ross.
Over the past two seasons, Hanrahan had 76 saves, fourth most in the National League, and a 2.24 ERA. Last season, he was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves.