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  1. 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

  2. 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.

    Comment by asaw780 — December 28, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  3. Great article, Eric. Huge fan of this deal from Bucs perspective.

    Comment by CabreraDeath — December 28, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    Comment by Jason B — December 28, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  6. Think Victor Black comes into the picture some time over the next 18 months?

    Comment by Matthew Gaeta — December 28, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  7. The Pirates raped the Red Sox. It wasn’t a legitimate rape because Boston consented, so there may still be a baby.

    Comment by Baltar — December 28, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  8. There had to be far better ways to free up roster spots.

    Comment by teakayfortoowon — December 28, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  9. If he figures out how to throw strikes consistently.

    Comment by Dan — December 28, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  10. 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.

    Comment by DonCoburleone — December 28, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. I wonder how much Bill James dislikes the people he works with.

    Comment by marlinswin12 — December 28, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  15. If that were the only objective, sure.

    Comment by NS — December 28, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  16. Using the money saved to sign someone else isn’t an argument. You can just spend on both at any time.

    But of course the Pirates really didn’t want to spend that kind of money. And it’s equally obvious that the Red Sox didn’t want to just cut the players on their 40-man.

    Comment by NS — December 28, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  17. They do have Cole and Taillon ready to step in along with the Locke/McPherson loser of the #5 spot. They won’t be stuck with either wildcard if things go poorly.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — December 28, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  18. Why is that not an argument for a GM? They’re all given payrolls to work with. They probably can’t sign the guys they sign without trading Hanrahan.

    Comment by marlinswin12 — December 28, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  19. sands=wildcard could be allstar could be a nevers was

    Comment by matt — December 28, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  20. I think it’s a stretch to say that Taillon will feature this season. Cole, McPherson and especially Locke should be perfectly good replacements should JMac or Liriano struggle early on.

    Comment by Robert — December 29, 2012 @ 7:24 am

  21. I wouldn’t call 2+ K/9 a “slightly higher K rate”.

    Comment by RC — December 29, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  22. 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.

    Comment by Kurt O — December 31, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  23. You mean players like Joel Hanrahan?

    Comment by Andrew — December 31, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  24. Impeccable logic! Brilliant analysis like this reminds me how infinitely capable human intellect can be.

    Comment by Conclusion McJumperson — December 31, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

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