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Pirates agree to trade Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox

Dec 23, 2012, 11:34 AM EDT

joel hanrahan getty Getty Images

UPDATE, SUNDAY: The Pirates will also get right-handed reliever Mark Melancon from the Red Sox, according to Bowden. Heyman says there’s “still some discussion” about the remaining players involved so negotiations may run past Christmas.


SATURDAY, 5:02 PM: Heyman reports that it’s a six-player deal, with four going to Pittsburgh and two going to Boston.

4:55 PM: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates are sending another player to Boston along with Hanrahan. Meanwhile, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears that the Pirates will get more than two players in return.

4:32 PM: Bowden reports that the deal has been agreed upon. It’s not clear if other players are involved.

4:27 PM: Bowden hears that the Pirates will get Jerry Sands and prospect right-hander Stolmy Pimentel in the proposed deal.

Pimentel, who turns 23 in February, has a 4.37 ERA over six seasons in the minors. He posted a 4.59 ERA and 86/42 K/BB ratio over 115 2/3 innings with Double-A Portland this past season. Baseball America ranked him as the organization’s No. 6 prospect prior to the 2011 season, but his star has faded a bit since.

3:44 PM: Jim Bowden of and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the Pirates would acquire Jerry Sands as part of the return for Hanrahan. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman was the first to mention that Sands could be involved.

Sands was acquired as a player to be named later in the August blockbuster trade with the Dodgers. The 25-year-old has posted some big numbers in the minors, particularly in the Pacific Coast League over the last two seasons, but he owns a .244/.325/.376 batting line over 251 plate appearances in the big leagues. A right-handed hitter with pop, he might fit best as a platoon player at first base or in the outfield. If acquired, the Pirates would have quite the logjam.

2:05 PM: There has been speculation that prospect infielder Jose Iglesias might go to Pittsburgh in the deal, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that he’s not involved in talks.

1:31 PM: After shopping closer Joel Hanrahan for most of the winter, it appears the Pirates have finally found a match.

According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Red Sox are moving toward acquiring Hanrahan from the Pirates. It’s not a done deal yet, as one official told Edes that there’s “still work to be done.” It’s not known who the Pirates would get in return.

Hanrahan has saved 76 games over the past two seasons and would offer some insurance for Andrew Bailey, who has been injury-prone during his career and missed most of last season following thumb surgery. The 31-year-old right-hander earned $4.1 million in 2012 and is due a big raise in arbitration this winter. He can become a free agent following the 2013 season.

If the Pirates trade Hanrahan, Jason Grilli will likely take over as closer next season. He recently signed a two-year, $6.75 million contract in order to stay with Pittsburgh.

  1. Stiller43 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Good? Idk, i like hammer. But if he’s not part of the long term plans, i guess its better to get something back for him now than nothing later. Hope we get something quality back

    • dcfan4life - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Get something for him now and not pay the man. That ensures they have the desired payroll. If anything the Pirates are deep in pitching so he could be replaced possibly without losing a step. I mean this is the Pirates way, so why would trading him be surprising?

  2. bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM


    I love this DEPTH.

    I’m getting tingly over the DEPTH.

    Bailey/Hanrahan/Uehara – and that doesn’t count the recovering trainwreck that is Daniel Bard … who would now seem to be moved to trade chip status.

    • bradybbgoat - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      Trade chip status? The Sox would be lucky to get a bag of chips for Bard.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        If they could get a family-sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, that would be some fantastic return for Bard.

      • dan1111 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Despite 2012, Bard remains a young pitcher with electric stuff who dominated for three out of his four seasons in the majors. Given that his implosion was associated with the ill-fated attempt to turn him into a starter, I think lots of teams would be willing to bet that he gets back on track.

        So make that two bags of Doritos.

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        And some chopsticks. I hate getting all that yellow powder on my fingers and I think everyone does, too. Chopsticks with the Doritos should seal the deal.

      • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        dan1111 – precisely – the whathaveyoudoneformelately factor doesn’t apply in the business of baseball when there is a substantial track record in place and especially when youth is still on the players side.

        One could even speculate that Bard could be part of the Hanrahan deal.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        Once a pitcher loses it as badly as Bard lost it….and then rather than find it when moved to the minors and a relief role, he got worse…..he has absolutely no value until he finds it again.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      I thought he was going to turn into something – must have beeen the triple digit heater.

  3. redguy12588 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Whatever the pirates get back must be worth 1 year of hanrahan as well as a comp 1st rounder. So it should be a decent haul for him.

    • rhmurphy - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      I don’t think Hanrahan would be given a qualifying offer.

  4. chacochicken - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I sure hope the Sox starting pitchers have a collective ERA lower than 5 or Joel, Koji, and Andy are going to mostly see non-save situations.

  5. hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    I… thats a whole lot of bullpen depth. If the Red Sox don’t turn some of these arms into trade pieces then I will be VERY surprised. I can’t help but think the extra bullpen+outfield bodies that they have are going to turn into some sort of trade

  6. biasedhomer - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Whats up with the Red SOx trading for all these closers?

    Bailey, Melancon, now Hanrahan?

    All they had to do was keep Bard in the pen and they would have been fine.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      I think they know that teams value closers quite highly and I THINK they’re hoping some team will pay up stupid quantities of talent for bullpen arms.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Did you notice how poorly Bailey and Melancon pitched when healthy last season? It is difficult to trade either of them. I doubt that Red Sox fans will be happy with their bullpen during the 7th and 8th innings. Bard is done. He seemed to begin to fall apart in September of the 2011 season. I remember that the Jays had a lot of success against him that month.

      Hanrahan seems to be a highly paid rental who may or may not perform well for a team that wants to be above .500.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:16 PM

        Bailey pitched 15.1 innings last year, there’s no way you can pass judgment on his worth based on that. Bailey in the 9th, Hanrahan in the 8th, and playing match-ups in the 7th should get the job done just fine.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        I guess trading Melancon is an easier task than you thought, eh?

      • xavier46 - Dec 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM


        You are such a turd. Prior to your beloved Jays trading for the Marlins, you were actually a knowledgeable source on HBT. Your comments are trash now. It seems as though you get pleasure out of ripping the Sox. Almost as if you know the Jays aren’t going to live up to whatever expectations you place upon them. You troll everything now. Big swingin dick huh?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:07 AM

        May you have a happy Christmas too. Cheers!

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:14 AM

        Look xavier46. It became obvious this season that Red Sox brass are unprincipled scumbags. Due to their tampering of John Farrell, I lost all respect for them.

    • mornelithe - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      iirc, Bard demanded a shot at a starter role or be traded. Given his ability, the Sox had to give him a shot. I certainly hope Bard is satisfied that the Sox gave him his shot, and now focuses on getting back to pre-2012 form (and hopefully pre-late 2011 form)

  7. iclight79 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for trading Hanrahan now. The guy has the stats and all, but man is he nerve-racking to watch. And really, there is no reason for us to keep him, as not only is Grilli capable but also we aren’t going to win many games to begin with. That said, Jerry F’n Sands? I realize the guy has some talent, but he strikes out a lot too. Part of the reason our offense is so damn bad is there are no productive outs. We K a ton and never walk. It is infuriating to watch.

  8. uyf1950 - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    I seem to recall much of the same euphoria among the Red Sox faithful last off season when they got Bailey and Melancon and we all know how their seasons turned out. To label it disastrous would be kind. Hanrahan is projected to make about $7MM this his final turn through arbitration. That seems like a lot of money for a relief pitcher with really only 2 years of closing duties in the NL Central Division and considering his SO/BB ratio went from 3.81 in 2011 to 1.86 in 2012.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 7:38 PM

      I wouldnt say theres euphoria over this trade…but kinda confusion. Doesnt really fit in with the rest of their deals this season so I’m kinda waiting to see what goes on. The 2 prospects that are named are kinda meh in the Red Sox system, so the other two are really the names I’m hanging on here

  9. hushbrother - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Jose Iglesias, awesome. Pirates fans, if you liked Clint Barmes’ slash line this year, you’ll LOVE Jose Iglesias.

  10. oregoncoastdailynews - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Sands in larger markets like LA and Boston might not have been a good fit, but in Pittsburgh, with a loyal fan base, and not as much pressure to perform, I predict he’ll have isotopes numbers all season long. Go get ’em Jerry…all us LA faithful look forward to seeing you perform like we know you can

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    If you’re a Slap Shot fan, finish the line:


    • titknocker - Dec 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      It’s “Hey Hanrahan, Suzanne sucks pu$$y”

  12. djpostl - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Nice. Guess this site isn’t as HTML friendly as it thinks haha.

  13. buffalo65 - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Sox are a clown team anyways.

  14. modellforprez - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM


  15. hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Looks like the 3 names I’m seeing so far involved in this trade are Pimentel, Sands and Melancon and if the 4th guy is of a similar calibre to those 3 then I’m totally ok with this trade. They need to free up space on the 40 man roster so I think that’s where some of this is coming in as well

  16. hushbrother - Dec 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Not only is Hanrahan a proven closer, he’s also adept at ordering hits on Black Panther leaders.

  17. yankeepunk3000 - Dec 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    slow is an understatement…

  18. Old Gator - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    How the hell did this thread get to the left of Nick Swisher?

    • shaggylocks - Dec 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Because there was an update, and the post got bumped up as a result. Pretty standard.

  19. ejheim62 - Dec 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    don’t understand this move by the Pirates. I mean, 20 years of trading established good players for “prospects”…how well has that worked out for us? Oh yeah, that’s right, 20 straight losing seasons.

  20. boondocksaint7 - Dec 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Pittsburgh continues to be a farm team for New York and Boston!

  21. buccobrigade - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I heard Brock Holt is the other player that the Bucs are sending to Boston

  22. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    internet explorer sucks, took me 3 days to read this, at least mozilla is smooth, anyways blue jays got the al east on lockdown. shout out to drizzy drake.

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