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The market for Joel Hanrahan is surprisingly weak

Dec 3, 2012, 1:09 PM EDT

Joel Hanrahan Getty Images

Joel Hanrahan is an exceptional 76-for-84 saving games for the Pirates the last two years, but he isn’t drawing as much interest around the league as the team has hoped, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel.

The Pirates recently shopped Hanrahan to a pair of American League teams, only to get the response that neither was interested. They’ve also reportedly talked to the Dodgers about him without getting any bites.

Hanarhan is entering his last year of arbitration and is likely to make around $7 million before becoming a free agent next winter. He posted ERAs of 1.83 in 2011 and 2.72 in 2012. The Pirates are believed to be looking for starting pitching in return for him, though that would mean further gutting their bullpen. They traded Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jays in July and Chris Resop to the A’s before the non-tender deadline, plus they look like long shots to re-sign top setup man Jason Grilli.

  1. paperlions - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    The Pirates are surprised that teams won’t give up a starting pitcher for the “privilege” of paying about $7M to a reliever who hits FA next year?

    The teams that highly value or over-value relievers likely already have a roster chock full of them….meaning that most teams the Pirates think could use a closer probably view them as fungible.

    • paint771 - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      Agreed. I think Hanrahan would be a great addition to any club looking for late inning help, but if they’re looking for MLB-proven starting pitching, they’re either going to have to waaay lower their expectations (like a fourth or fifth man tops) or throw in another chip or two. It is a seller’s market for starters, and late inning relievers are such crap shoots these days anyway.

  2. fordman84 - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Pirates best bet for a closer is to shop him mid season. Sure if a team gets him now they can get comp if he leaves, but doesn’t that assume he gets a qualifying offer ($13+ mill for a closer? right!). In the offseason teams get set on trying to find their own closer, but at the deadline they know if an injury got em or someone flunked the role. That is when closers get you the players you want.

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