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  1. Still have to see what the other pieces are. Mark Melancon may be the most interesting player if the rumors about his inclusion are true.

    Comment by Pitnick — December 24, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  2. Watch the last 3 players in the deal be Ellsbury, Bogaerts and McCutchen. Just because things have gotten pretty boring lately.

    Comment by PL — December 24, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  3. say what you will about theo’s FA binges, there was a rationale behind them. the trades for melancon, bailey, and now the hammer were/are inexcusible both in conception and execution. flawed, expensive relievers (sorry, “proven” closers) being traded to boston and cheap, MLB-ready (albeit unproven) talent headed the other way.

    and, oh yeah, hanny is pretty far from a “sure” thing. you know who was sure? papelbon. oh right, but you can’t overpay for closers!

    i guess payments in the form of “prospects” don’t count…

    Comment by shane — December 24, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  4. I don’t get it either. And just a year after Reddick for Bailey, too.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — December 24, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  5. Completely agree with you both. Wonderful decision making by the Pirates…supremely questionable by the Red Sox.

    Comment by jcxy — December 24, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  6. Jason Grilli is older than Joel Hanrahan…

    Comment by Andrew — December 24, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

  7. hah. yes. fixed. Still cheaper.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — December 24, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  8. Teams need more than one RP so it isn’t like they didn’t have room for both, or even more. That said, I still like the deal for the Pirates.

    Comment by Pete — December 24, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  9. It’s pretty obvious that their clearing dead space off the 40-man roster. The players traded (melancon to a lesser extent) likely won’t have a longterm fit with the team. It makes sense then to get value out of these guys (and it may be a mistake to assume these guys are worth more than hanrahan).

    Comment by James — December 24, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  10. Why wouldn’t the main competition be Sanchez? Jones is a lefty and Sanchez/Sands would be the perfect platoon at first.

    Comment by Miketron — December 24, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  11. Jerry Sands and Gaby Sanchez are both right handed.

    Comment by maguro — December 24, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  12. Still seems like a small return for a proven closer…..Sands was basically a throw-in from the Gonzalez trade, Pimentel seems to be regressing and Melancon is no more than a warm body…..unless there’s another player added with some upside, seems the only chance for the Bucs to save this deal is for Pimentel to suddenly figure things out…..and if he looked like he was ready to do so, the Red Sox probably wouldn’t have tossed him into the deal….

    Comment by JKA — December 24, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  13. I thought this was gonna be a story about Bob Hamelin.

    Comment by shthar — December 24, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  14. Stolmy Pimentel as one option left and is currently a DFA candidate. He has the ceiling of a fifth starter. Sands is completely redundant with Gomes and Napoli; he has been terrible in the majors.

    To get a very useful pitcher for spare parts? Why not?

    Comment by joshua — December 24, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

  15. Gabby for someone like Torres/Ramos from the Rays would be interesting. Bucs would have to add a lower spect in there as well.

    Comment by Jross — December 25, 2012 @ 12:24 am

  16. Eno, one slight nitpick. It was actually Nate McClouth that the Pirates traded once they felt McCutchen was ready. I’m not sure if you listed Nyjer Morgan in there simply because he was a part of the original trade for Hanrahan or not.

    Comment by bucs_lose_again — December 25, 2012 @ 2:04 am

  17. Sands has been “terrible in the majors”? Really? On what planet is a 100 wRC+ “terrible,” especially in less than 300 PA at ages 23 and 24?

    Comment by savin hillbilly — December 25, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  18. Please no McCutchen in the AL.

    Comment by BX — December 25, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  19. Because Hanrahan is not that useful, and is pretty much making market value for a meh nonelite closing reliever.

    And he’s most likely not more useful than a guy like Matt Lindstrom, who can probably be signed for less than 7MM guaranteed and costs no players.

    Comment by BX — December 25, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  20. I see no mention of Josh Willingham.

    Comment by I Agree Guy — December 25, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  21. To imagine that Grilli will be able to step in for Hanrahan is questionable because Grilli hasn’t closed. A right-handed setup guy usually faces something like 62 percent right-handed batters, while a closer faces around 50 percent right-handed batters (which doesn’t help the “platoon issues). And, despite a lot of SABR-rattling to the contrary, players and other baseball insiders believe there is more pressure in getting those final three outs.

    Comment by Jim S. — December 25, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  22. I’m not sure I agree with you entirely, but I gave you a thumbs-up because of your use of the term “SABR-rattling.” Merry Christmas.

    Comment by Sam Samson — December 25, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  23. I used Morgan because of the Hanrahan connection, but you’re right about the specifics.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — December 25, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  24. The Bucs win this deal if any of these players play an ML game above league average post 2013.

    Which is almost assured if Mark Melcancon is included in this deal.

    Simple Math:
    Pirates sign Grilli
    Hanrahan=Contract over after 2012
    1 year of Hanrahan < Several years of Sands, Pimentel and Melancon.

    Comment by Ryan S — December 26, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  25. Melancon had an ERA of 49.00 through April last year and gave up 5 of his 8 HRs in April. Otherwise he has been solid for 3 years and is under team control through 2017. If Melancon is included, the Bosox had better get a big advantage with the two players yet to be named or this is a great trade for the Pirates, even if they get little from Sands / Pimentel. The one thing Huntington has done consistently in his 5 years is to build and rebuild the bullpen, and I trust Grilli for a year or two, and eventually Bryan Morris.

    Comment by dockellis — December 26, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  26. I don’t quite get this. I am not a huge fan of Melancon. I do like Hanrahan. However, the difference in their ERA might be around 0.75 over 50 innings (assuming both are healthy). Hanrahan is considerably more expensive. While I don’t have any great love for Sands, I don’t understand why any genuinely useful piece would be part of this exchange- let alone two such pieces. Even if Sands is James Loney, there would be enough surplus value to make this a very good trade for the Pirates. Especially with the Red Sox in what is probably a lost year, picking up a guy with 1 year on his contract seems peculiar too. Why not just stick with Melancon and see if he rebounds? Is 0.25 wins going to be the difference this season?

    Comment by B N — December 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  27. I am a big fan of this trade from the Pirates perspective, but I am not sure I buy the “surplus” argument for your best relief pitcher or a starter for that matter. Making the argument for Hanrahan and Grilli is like saying the Phillies can afford to trade Lee because they have Hamels. They still need 5 starters and the Pirates still need multiple “close game” relievers.

    The real replacement is the switch from Hanrahan to the worst reliever. That difference is clearly bigger than the likely difference from Hanrahan to Grilli.

    Clearly position players are different and when looking at “surplus”, the Nats are making that calculation when considering keeping LaRoche or going with Morse, as the Rangers also need to consider the value of adding LaRoche to replace Moreland.

    Comment by Socrates — December 26, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  28. Wow. I also just looked up Hanrahan’s FB and Grilli’s.
    Hanrahan: 95.9 MHP avg
    Grilli: 93.6

    That is much more of a significant difference than the “94″ to “93″ estimates imply. Also, with Grilli being 5 years older than Hanrahan, I think he is MUCH more likely to lose velocity moving forward, then to repeat his career high velocity last season.

    I just don’t think the “surplus” argument from Hanrahan to Grilli is what makes this deal good for Pit. Part of the argument is “surplus, but it is the surplus from Hanrahan to the (more or less) replaceable reliever but the main part is that they have essentially acquired a handful of players that give them a shot at having multiple 2-ish WAR seasons on low contracts while only giving up 1 potential year of a 2-ish WAR season of a guy who will make about $7m.

    Comment by Socrates — December 26, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  29. This is a poorly written article because a reader has to google these names to understand the proposed trade – would have nice if you mentioned the rumored players involved at the outset of the article.

    Comment by Milton Bradley — December 26, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  30. I wrote this three days ago. Brock Holt and Mark Melancon were barely rumors then. I’ve added a paragraph to reflect the final deal.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — December 26, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  31. Ivan DeJesus Jr. is also going to the Pirates.

    Comment by an android — December 26, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  32. DeJesus > Holt

    Especially for the Red Sox AND Pirates who both seems well covered at 2B, but have serious holes at SS. DeJesus is far from a prospect, but I think that Holt is only closer (to being a prospect) by virtue of being 1 year younger. I am not sure that one year could possibly make up for the difference that

    Comment by Socrates — December 26, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  33. Seriously? Grilli is NOT Hanrahan and 5 yrs older? In order to have a trade you have to get something… the Pirates got an AAAA outfielder, 2 bust pitchers..and a lifelong ml with a .205 average. Red sox a closer coming off an all star season… who had 1 bad month september. Melancon had a record setting bad April and a 4.19 ERA in AAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Typical Pirates salary dump…Hanrahan will be an all star again and resigned by the sox. The 4 guys the pirates got 2 will never make the majors and the other 2 are proven failures.

    Comment by Long time suffering bucs fan — December 26, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  34. It was not one bad month. A closer sporting a FIP around 4.5 is not good. The question is whether 2012 was an exception or a new rule. The guy was lights out good in 2010/11. Red Sox win this if he reverts back to that guy. However, if 2012 is the new norm then the Sox got burned and the Pirates made out like bandits.

    Comment by BJsWorld — December 26, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  35. Holt has a much better track record offensively, and neither of them are really good enough defensively to be more than a short-term option at SS; add in the fact that Holt is more than a year younger, and I’m having a hard time seeing how DeJesus is better.

    Comment by KyleL — December 26, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  36. Pretty funny if you really think Gaby Sanchez would command anyone near Torres or Ramos.

    Comment by Brad — December 27, 2012 @ 2:56 am

  37. Because the Red Sox have shitloads of money and nothing to do with it this year? They’re basically hoping they can turn Melancon into a draft pick. The rest of the prospects are guys who were going to get cut anyway.

    Comment by Synovia — December 27, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  38. So the Sox are going to make a $13M qualifying offer to Joel hanrahan, an expect him to turn it down? Hanrahan can’t hold Rafael Soriano’s jock, and ask him how that is working out.

    Comment by Steve — December 27, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  39. Holt had plenty of opportunity to play SS last year in Pittsburg, but didn’t. Instead it too an injury to Walker to get him any playing time. Meanwhile between Barmes, Harrison, and Mercer the Bucs posted approximately a .265 wOBA at SS. If they had any confidence in Holt’s Defense at SS, then he clearly would have played.

    As for De Jesus, he has a better career minor league BB% than Holt and was playing at most levels at a younger age. Also, I have a little trouble that Holt (who judging from his SB% is at best Not Fast) will be able to maintain the gaudy BABIPs that he posted in the minors.

    For me they are similar bats, with the difference being that Holt didnt have the confidence of his drafting organization to play SS regularly. I think that the hope for both of these teams is that neither of them will get much playing time at SS, but it seems likely that both of these teams need depth there, and I like De Jesus better.

    Comment by Socrates — December 28, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  40. I get almost all of my news for baseball from fangraphs because i love the site, but it’s really frustrating when you guys analyze a trade and don’t mention the exact players involved. Happens all the time.

    Comment by Ben — December 28, 2012 @ 11:59 am

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