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The Red Sox signed righthanded reliever Koji Uehara at this time last year with the intent of using him in the sixth or seventh inning but knowing he had the talent to close if that became necessary.
By June, after injuries devastated the bullpen, Uehara did indeed become the closer, and he thrived in that role through the World Series.
On Thursday, the Sox landed a pitcher of similar attributes in righthander Edward Mujica.
Mujica saved 37 games for the St. Louis Cardinals last season and made the All-Star team. A shoulder strain led to a late-season slump, a demotion to middle relief, and only two appearances in the postseason. That enabled the Red Sox to sign him to a two-year contract worth $9.5 million