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Joel Hanrahan trade: Jason Grilli will become Pirates closer

The Pirates are reportedly looking to deal Joel Hanrahan with the plan of moving Jason Grilli into his role.

Jared Wickerham

With the news coming down that the Pittsburgh Pirates are close to dealing Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox, Jon Heyman reports that Jason Grilli will become the new closer for the Bucs.

Pittsburgh almost lost Grilli this season to a number of teams in free agency, including the Toronto Blue Jays, who were supposedly hard-charging to sign him.

The 36-year-old Michigan native was solid last year despite a 1-6 record, racking up a 2.91 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with an excellent strikeout rate. Over the course of his career with the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Pirates, Grilli has a 4.34 ERA.

The last two years have been among Grilli's best, as he posted ERAs under 3.00 for just the second and third times in his career.

Bringing back Grilli seems to be critical for Pittsburgh as he'll anchor the back end of the bullpen as the Pirates try to contend in the National League Central.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.