I can’t figure how “experts” view this as a good deal at all for Boston. Four years of Melancon alone is worth far more than one season at $7 million out of Joel. Good luck at Fenway with that flyball and BB rate and no HR suppression from PNC.
Comment by Pirates Hurdles — December 28, 2012 @ 9:11 am
This was an interesting trade – on its face, the Red Sox won handily, getting rid of 40-man roster space wasters in return for a useful closer. However, the Pirates were definitely benefitted as well; as mentioned, they can put the money that would have gone to Hanranhan towards Liriano and perhaps even another free agent, Melancon is a useful piece, and the organizational depth is nice as well.
Melancon might actually end up being the best part of this trade for the Pirates, looking back later. Grilli gets hit pretty hard – he’s had over a 22% line drive rate in three of the past four years, including 24.4% in ’12, and might see his control regress, in which case I would guess Melancon (or possibly lefty prospect Justin Wilson) will be given a shot at the closer’s chair.
Great article, Eric. Huge fan of this deal from Bucs perspective.
Comment by CabreraDeath — December 28, 2012 @ 10:50 am
I remember a couple of years ago when Grilli washed out in Detroit. The Tigers were using him in middle relief and he got pounded. He is a terrible pitcher to bring in in middle relief because of this low groundball rate and, as mentioned by asaw780, he gets hit pretty hard. All of this is less of a problem if he comes into close with none on and none out — his high strikeout rate can compensate for his flyball/line drive tendencies if he doesn’t have to deal with inherited runners. Kind of curious, here’s a guy who isn’t good enough to be a middle reliever but might be pretty well suited to be a closer.
Comment by kevinthecomic — December 28, 2012 @ 11:02 am
This trade for Boston wasn’t about “getting” Hanrahan so much as it was about freeing 40 man spots. They traded some fungible assets for a very short term contract.
Also, I don’t know if there’s a relationship between LI and K/BB/BABIP/whatever, but Melancon was basically a mop-up reliever for Boston last year.
Yeah good move for the Pirates in this trade and Liriano is definately worth the gamble. I think Liriano and McDonald will be the keys to their staff this year, which is kind of frightening considering how awful they both were for long stretches last season.
Freeing roster space isn’t an argument. You can dfa someone off the 40 man at any time. I like the trade primarily for the 4 years of Melancon.
Comment by Piratesbreak500 — December 28, 2012 @ 1:26 pm
The difference between Grilli then and now is the fact that his fastball has become an effective pitch. Where as previously it was well below average.
Comment by rotowizard — December 28, 2012 @ 2:44 pm
That makes no sense. The reason why Grilli sucked in Detroit is because he was a different pitcher back then. By different, I mean not good at all. His ineffectiveness had nothing to do with his role, it seems.
Comment by marlinswin12 — December 28, 2012 @ 2:55 pm
I wonder how much Bill James dislikes the people he works with.
Comment by marlinswin12 — December 28, 2012 @ 2:59 pm
Grilli was very ineffective when used in the closing role this past season. He is no Joel Hanrahan, no matter how Joel performs. The money savings will soon be a non-factor if Grilli gets hit hard. None of the other guys will pan out because, well, that is what happens when players come to Pittsburgh.