Fantasy Baseball: Does Joel Hanrahan Have Inside Track On Pirates' Closer Job?

Rob Biertempfel of the Trib writes that Joel Hanrahan, rather than Evan Meek, is likely to be the Pirates' closer next year:

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Management has kept mum, though most signs point toward Joel Hanrahan getting the job instead of Evan Meek. Hanny has done it before and has a more experience overall in the bigs than Meek. Hanrahan also has a hefty contract ($1.4 million) and put up crazy-good strikeout and walk stats last year.

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Hanrahan becomes a free agent after 2013, so he could potentially hit the trade market earlier than Meek will. You can always count on teams to overpay for pitchers who can close, so all other things being equal, it would make sense for the Pirates to give Hanrahan the first shot at the job.

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Obviously, even if Hanrahan is the closer, he won't be an elite fantasy player - the Pirates won't give him enough save opportunities. But he's pretty likely to hang onto the job, and he'll give your team's strikeout totals a boost as well.

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