The Boston Red Sox, having acquired Joel Hanrahan this winter and transitioning Daniel Bard back to the bullpen, could have three closers in their bullpen in 2013 if Andrew Bailey is healthy. This creates not only the potential for a really strong late-inning crew for skipper John Farrell, but also a tough decision or two down the road.
The Red Sox aren't likely to pay all three what arbitration and free agency will dictate, and the choices the club may have to make as a result could begin this summer. Coincidentally, Hanrahan said Wednesday that he's open to a contract extension with the club.
Bard and Bailey have work to do to suggest they could be the better choice beyond 2013, but even Hanrahan's no sure thing to be in Boston past the trade deadline. If the Sox are in it, one would imagine he's a big part of it and would not be shopped. If they aren't -- and that possibility is far from outlandish considering the competition in the American League East and around the circuit for both of the Wild Card playoff berths.
Is it conceivable that all three could see time on the rumor mill? We'll have to wait and see, especially since the club is planning to be in the race and looking to add to the roster in July. Bailey could be a non-tender candidate next offseason, however, which could make him prime trade bait -- again, if healthy -- even if the club moves Bard and/or Hanrahan, too.