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Red Sox and Pirates finalize Joel Hanrahan trade

Dec 26, 2012, 12:54 PM EDT

Joel Hanrahan Getty Images

An official announcement was delayed over Christmas, but the Red Sox and Pirates have now completed the trade sending reliever Joel Hanrahan to Boston.

Along with Hanrahan the Red Sox also receive Brock Holt, a 24-year-old shortstop with good on-base skills who debuted with the Pirates this year.

In exchange for Hanrahan and Holt the Pirates get first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, reliever Mark Melancon, and prospects Stolmy Pimentel and Ivan De Jesus.

Hanrahan has been one of the best relievers in baseball since 2010, posting a 2.73 ERA with 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 205 appearances, and he saved 76 games during the past three seasons. He’ll be a free agent next offseason.

Sands was acquired by the Red Sox from the Dodgers in the Adrian Gonzalez/Carl Crawford/Josh Beckett trade. He hasn’t hit much in the majors so far, but the 25-year-old has consistently had very strong production in the minors, including hitting .288 with 55 homers and a .914 OPS in 213 games at Triple-A.

Boston got Melancon from Houston last offseason for Jed Lowrie, but he quickly went from setup man to the minors after a brutal start. He returned in June and pitched well with a 4.19 ERA and 40/10 K/BB ratio in 43 innings, so the Pirates definitely bought low on a capable late-inning bullpen arm.

Neither Pimental nor De Jesus ranked among the Red Sox’s top 10 prospects according to Baseball America. De Jesus, who was also acquired in the Gonzalez/Crawford/Beckett swap, has spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A and projects as a bench player in the majors at age 26. Pimentel spent this season at Double-A as a 22-year-old, throwing 116 innings with a 4.59 ERA and 86/42 K/BB ratio.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I like, I like. The Sox bullpen could be one of the strongest in the AL if healthy and playing up to its potential. Now who’s going to hit for them?

  2. nightrain42 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Great move Pirates. We need a shortstop, not another 1b/OF.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      Relax! The Pirates did get the son of Jesus in the trade.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        You said it, man. Nobody f**** with De Jesus.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Too early to know who won this trade, but the Pirates might have made out like thieves. The Red Sox got a rental who last season walked too many hitters and a short stop. As the Red Sox recently signed a short stop and have decent prospects at the position, I wonder why they took him.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      You lambast the Sox for having a depleted farm system, now you question them for adding a piece to that system. You don’t think much of the Sox. We get it.

      • bobwsc - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        amen to that brother

      • soxfan1966 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        Actually not a bad deal for the Sox.

        Pimental kind of hit a wall at AA, so while he has room for growth it wouldn’t be within the Sox organization considering the depth of pitching that remains. Sands and De Jesus were really no more than organizational depth at this point. Melancon is the one that could have been useful, but considering the rumors that he was a basket case in the AL East (both in NY and BOS — although he eventually pitched fairly well in BOS) he may prove to be more suited for a smaller market. Hanrahan seems like a big upgrade from him.

        Holt doesn’t appear to be much in the power department, but he’s got some good OB and SB numbers in the minors, so he may prove to be good depth.

        To say that PIT made out “like thieves” is simply ignorant. This could be a decent trade for both sides if Hanrahan can prove himself in the AL East. This certainly strengthens Farrell’s bullpen while the Sox really didn’t give up much in return.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Proudly my friend. You should know better then to say anything even remotely negative about or that questions a Red Sox move, They are a very sensitive group and who can blame them considering the way the Red Sox have played the last 15 months or so. So have pity on your poor brethren to the south because there but for the grace of god go you.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Amen! The Red Sox appear to have turned over their team as much as the Blue Jays. How effective the changes are, will be unknown until the games are played. Thus, I will try to refrain from questioning the Red Sox for the rest of the year.

      • paperlions - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Informed criticism is fine. Bias that willfully ignores facts in order to find fault or to criticize should always be panned.

        The Red Sox have done plenty of things this offseason to criticize. This isn’t one of them…..and saying the Pirates “could make out like thieves” simply ignores the quality of players that were traded.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        paperlions, what’s wrong with what proudly said? When you look at Hanrahan he regressed pretty dramatically in 2012. His walks were way up, innings pitched down, home runs allowed way up and his ERA was up almost a full point. And on top of that the Red Sox only get control of him for the 2013 season after that he becomes a FA. add on top of that Hanrahan is going from pitching in the NL Central to the friendlier hitter parks of the AL East and where there is a DH. the comment by proudly that the Pirates “might have made out like thieves” is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. For those that consider that comment bias maybe it’s not proudly that’s bias.
        After all my memory isn’t so short that I forgot how Red Sox fans thought the Sox might have made out like bandits with the trades of Bailey for Reddick and Melancon for Lowrie.
        The point I’m trying to make is at this point and as it relates to this trade who “might have made out like thieves” is a matter of conjecture and proudly’s opinion has just as much validity as anyone else’s.

      • paperlions - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        First, of course they got a rental. Duh. Second, they gave up absolutely nothing to get that rental, but PC acts like the Pirates got something useful or valuable in return. They didn’t. Third, he’s been relentlessly and largely unintelligently bashing the Red Sox (who, by the way, I can’t stand) at every opportunity, even bringing them up when the story has nothing to do with them just to be a dick. It is boorish, it is tiring, and largely has been bullshit. Not unlike much of your mindless mocking which you seem incapable of controlling.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        paperlions, at least proudly and myself have enough class not to call other posters here vile names.

  4. cowboysoldiertx - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    This deal benefited the bBoSox way more than the Bucs!

  5. nderdog - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    That’s turrible. Turrible, turrible, turrible. Looks like the losing streak will continue in the Burgh for a while longer. I understand getting something for Hanrahan before he leaves as a free agent, but surely he had more value than this, even without losing Brock Holt. Nutting the Nutjob needs to sell this team to someone who gives a crap and actually wants to see a real team take the field.

  6. paperlions - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Sands, Pimentel, and de Jesus aren’t really prospects.

    Sands’ numbers are inflated of his home park in the PCL, LA’s AAA franchise is in Albuquerque, which is a launching pad. Within the context of the league, he was okay. Van Slyke put up better numbers than Sands, and he just passed through waivers unclaimed.

    De Jesus couldn’t even hit in Albuquerque, I doubt he even has utility player upside on an MLB roster.

    Pimentel can’t miss any bats, even in AA.

    Most teams would rather have Brock than all three of those guys. This just looks like a salary dump by the Pirates.

  7. ballcoach72 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I am shocked they gave up Holt. The kid was only up briefly last year, but looked pretty good and the Bucs have been looking for a shortstop since Jay Bell. Was looking forward to the kid getting some time this year. Why do they continue to trade for middling outfielders and first baseman. Huntington is dumb, blind or both.

    • felser - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Numbers indicate that Brock won’t be able to field the SS position, even though his bat would play well enough. Might be able to cut it as an MLB 2B, but not a SS.

  8. Caught Looking - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    The Red Sox also gained roster flexibility as Sands, Melancon and Pimentel were all on the 40 man.

  9. theskinsman - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    You know Proudly, your new hate-on for the Red Sox is unseemly. The jays got a huge boost this winter and you spend your time bashing the Sox because Farrell took the managers job there.If he had gotten the haul of players the jays scored while he was there,the results would undoubtedly been different.Hate on the Yankees or Cowboys. They deserve all the scorn you can heap on them!
    HTTR,JFF.

    • damnyankee13 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      and the bosux dont?
      ROFLMAO

  10. steelpenbucs87 - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    You can’t look at this deal in a vacuum. There’s no way we could keep Grilli and Morton (maybe Karstens too), and sign Martin and Liriano with a closer making 7mil a year.

    I don’t buy the worry on either reliever. You take out Hammers September when he had some BAD outings and that BB number comes way down. Also Melaconon’s XFIP tells a different story than the 6+ era does.

    Not a slam dunk trade but the club is better overall so I’ll take it.

  11. ridgeavenuehr - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    It’s, quite honestly, hard to think of a trade the Pirates have made that they turned out to be the winners. It always seems they are busts for salary dumps. Obviously, the Bucs suck at trading, as 20 years of garnering prospects (and 1st round picks) can attest.

  12. digbysellers - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Is Hanrahan the goalie from Slapshot? I wonder if he misses Suzanne. She’s a lesbian ya know.

  13. brandedthefirst - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Nothing to see here move on people!

  14. jt2663 - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.

  15. mungman69 - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Red Sox might be better in 2013 and still end up in last place.

  16. xjokerz - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Sox trading for another closer ? How’d that work out for you last year ……

  17. flyeredup - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    The Bucs are an AAA team that develops players for the Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies to pay. They should be moved to Las Vegas.

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