It's a little surprising to hear before the season has even started, but free-agent-to-be and one of the newer Red Sox, Joel Hanrahan, has expressed interest in staying in Boston long-term. According to Peter Abraham, Hanrahan is "open" to the idea. Whether the Red Sox are similarly interested is a different question entirely.

The Red Sox let Jonathan Papelbon walk after the 2011 season, and have shown an obvious preference for trading for new closers and back-end bullpen options rather than diving headfirst into the expensive end of the free agent relief pool. Hanrahan's acquisition was part of that, as was Andrew Bailey's and Mark Melancon's the year before. If Hanrahan were to walk, the Sox, as currently constructed, would still have Bailey with one year of team control left to close in 2014. If you want to look even further in the future, Junichi Tazawa could be the closer in 2015, or, if Daniel Bard has worked out the kinks and returned to the Barddom of pre-2012, he could slide into that role. With the sheer quantity of potential quality relievers Boston has in the upper levels of their minor-league system at the moment, the pen could likely survive losing its back-end options one after another to free agency, without having to retain any of them on more lucrative deals.