Joel Hanrahan Looks To Be Headed To Boston

Sunday, December 23rd,2012

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Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Rumors began to spread on Saturday that the Pittsburgh Pirates were close to trading Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox. Assuming this deal becomes finalized, Boston would help answer some of the questions regarding their inconsistent bullpen. Hanrahan is the kind of pitcher that a team can rely on to close the door in the ninth inning. By trading Hanrahan, Pittsburgh sheds some salary and acquires a few talented players. This trade benefits both teams, but at first glance, it seems as if Boston might be getting the better side of the deal.

This trade has yet to be confirmed by either team. However, what most people are saying is that it is very close to being complete. Pittsburgh will send Joel Hanrahan to Boston for Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimental, and possibly Mark Melancon or others. Hanrahan is in his final year of arbitration and he should make around $7 Million this year.

By shedding the Hanrahan contract, Pittsburgh will be able to afford the recent signings they made this offseason. Pittsburgh signed Francisco Liriano for a Two-Year, $12.75 Million Dollar Contract and Russell Martin to a Two-Year, $17 Million deal. While 2013 would be the final season of Hanrahan’s contract, perhaps the Pirates believed they would not be able to afford another $7 Million on the books. Nonetheless, it doesn’t make sense that a team with such recent success in terms of ballpark figures and increasing payroll would be worried about another $7 Million for just one season.

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Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimental, and Mark Melancon are all players with talent and major league potential. However, the most likely outcome for these three is that they’ll become fourth outfielder-type or middle relievers. Sands has above-average raw power, but he couldn’t hold a starting job in Los Angeles before being traded to Boston in late August. It’s hard to see how Sands fits into the outfield logjam in Pittsburgh but hopefully, his potential will be able to shine through.

Stolmy Pimental is a twenty-two year old Dominican pitcher in Double-A. He has an average fastball and an above-average changeup. Pimental is likely to become either a back-end starter or a middle reliever, as he does not have a great out pitch. Mark Melancon struggled in 2012, but he had a great year with Houston previously. Melancon is due to bounce back in 2012 and assuming he does, he could make a fantastic set-up man in Pittsburgh.

Despite still recording 36 saves, Joel Hanrahan’s performance dipped in 2012. In 2011, Hanrahan only walked 2.10 batters per Nine Innings. In this most recent season, Hanrahan walked 5.43 batters per Nine. Whether or not this statistic was a fluke will decide Hanrahan’s future. Joel Hanrahan needs to realize that his performance in 2013 will largely dictate the contract security he will get that next offseason. In order to return to his previous dominant self, Hanrahan needs to keep the walks down.

If this trade goes through, Boston will shore up its bullpen and Pittsburgh will shed some salary. However, I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a win-win for both teams. It seemed like Pittsburgh would be able to get more for a proven closer with a nasty repertoire. Joel Hanrahan is one of the most talented closers in the league and if Boston does end up acquiring him, it will be a major step towards claiming a spot in the playoffs in 2013.

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*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

sam-evans

Today’s feature was prepared by Sam Evans, Baseball Writer.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter.

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About samevans87

I love writing, talking, watching, and playing baseball. I am a baseball writer for MLB Reports and Fish Stripes. "No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." -Paul Gallic

Posted on December 23, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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