Red Sox avoid arbitration with new closer Joel Hanrahan

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Joel Hanrahan, who the Red Sox acquired from the Pirates last month, has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.04 million.

This was Hanrahan’s final year of arbitration eligibility and so he’ll be a free agent next offseason, which along with the high price tag and Jason Grilli’s emergence played a part in Pittsburgh looking to trade him. He made $4.1 million in 2012.

Manager John Farrell has already said that Hanrahan, not Andrew Bailey, will begin the season as the Red Sox’s closer. Hanrahan saved 36 games last season and 40 games in 2011, throwing a combined 128 innings with a 2.24 ERA and 128/52 K/BB ratio.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.