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Joel Hanrahan To Be Pirates Closer

Joel Hanrahan has been named the Pirates' closer, rather than Evan Meek. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle cited Hanrahan's prior experience (he has 20 career saves) in naming him closer, but the best reason to do it is that he's eligible for free agency earlier than Meek is, and thus is likely to hit the trade market sooner. Rival GMs will sometimes pay a premium for relievers who are perceived as "closers" - last year, the Pirates made Octavio Dotel their closer and then were able to flip him for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo.

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In terms of the results on the field, either pitcher would have been a good choice, although Hanrahan racks up more strikeouts. He's a good option in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft this year - the Pirates won't have many games to save, but Hanrahan should be up to the task when they do. Meek will probably get his shot at closing in a couple years.

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