As bad as Mark Melancon was last year for the Red Sox, he still was arguably better then Joel Hanrahan. Melancon had the better WHIP, WAR, xFIP, SIERA, K/BB, and GB%. The last 4 stats were not even close. All while pitching in a better hitters park and better league.
So how in the world did Hanrahan beat Melancon so bad in ERA? Either luck or clutch. Which ever you choose to explain Hanrahan leaving 89.7% on base vs. 59.4% for Melancon. Switch those numbers and you can probably switch their ERA's. Throw in Hanrahan's .225 BABIP and we seem to be banking on that extreme luck to continue. Don't bet on it.
I can't knock the trade yet since we don't know who is in it. But I see Hanrahan at 7 million a year having very little value with a solid chance at having negative value this season. There was maybe three closers last year who made 7 million dollars and earned their money[Paps, Nathan, and Soriano]. One made only 7[Nathan] and another is twisting in the wind as we speak[Soriano]. Unless a reliever is incredibly special, you should not waste your money or your trade chips on relievers. Sadly, it sure seems our GM doesn't understand this concept.