Everybody thought that once Jonathan Papelbon left the Red Sox Daniel Bard would just slide into his place as the team’s closer. However, the Red Sox are going to try Bard in the rotation next year and are searching for their next closer through a trade or a free agent signing.
This afternoon they landed a former Yankee, who might not slide right in as closer, but certainly could take over the role down the road. They landed Mark Melancon from the Astros for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. They will still look for a closer, but now they have insurance in the event they can’t land one.
It’s funny in some respects because for years many over-zealous Yankees fans predicted that Melancon would eventually replace Mariano Rivera has the team’s next closer. Now he has a chance to do that job for the rival Red Sox.
Melancon, whom the Yankees traded for Lance Berkman in 2010, is a decent get for the Red Sox. Part of me can’t help but feel a little bit happy that they needed to part with a middle infielder and a pitching prospect to do so though. It really depends on how well Melancon, who had a 2.78 ERA, a 8.0 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9, adjusts to the AL East though. If he ends up being a useful closer then it could be a nice move by them.