The Pittsburgh Pirates have said goodbye to their closer of the past two seasons, Joel Hanrahan. It was announced Saturday night that Hanrahan has been dealt to the Boston Red Sox.
The Pirates will be recieving four players in the trade. Two of which are believed to be first basemen Jerry Sands and right-hander Stolmy Pimentel.
It is tough not to say that this trade isn’t about money. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington recently denied a need to deal Hanrahan because of his projected $7 million salary. However, Hanrahan had registered 76 saves in the past two seasons with a 2.72 ERA in 2012 and a 1.83 ERA the year before. Both times earning All-Star selections and he averages 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings for his career. With numbers like that Hanrahan will easily be expecting a big pay day when he hits free agency at the end of the 2013 season.
The closer job easily goes to Jason Grilli. It will be his job to lose going into the season. As for what the Pirates got in return: Sands had strong numbers at Triple-A last season, hitting .296 with 26 home runs and 107 RBIs. His OPS was .900 there. But where is he going to play. The Pirates already have Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez splitting time at first base. Sands has played outfield at times but there is already a log jam in the outfield between Jones, Travis Snider, Starling Marte, Alex Presley and Jose Tabata.
As for Pimentel, who will be 23 next season, has been in the Red Sox organization since he signed as a non-drafted free agent in July 2006. Two years ago Pimentel had a 9.12 ERA pitching for Portland in Double A. He was able to lower that to 4.59, making 22 starts. It is clear that Pimentel still has some work to do before the Pirates fans will have a chance to see him with the big league roster.
The Pirates are going to get two more players in the trade but they have not been named as of yet. It is tough to say if the Pirates are done for the off-season. Don’t be surprised to see another trade in the works.