Red Sox Acquire Hanrahan, Ibanez Signs with Seattle

More sizzle on the Hot Stove this weekend …

First off, the Pirates have traded closer Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox. The full details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but most sources say that, at minimum, minor league pitcher Stolmy Pimentel and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands are going back to Pittsburgh. The Pirates may also get Mark Melancon and may also add another body to the trade.

I’m not completely up to speed on Pittsburgh, other than seeing their various pitching pickups this winter. Can someone please explain why they were so hot to dump their closer — particularly when it seems like they’re building toward a winning season in 2013?

In other news, Raul Ibanez is reportedly returning to Seattle; he signs a one-year, $2.75M contract, with another $1.25M possible via incentives. So, if you thought there was a chance the Mets might sign him to play LF — perhaps as part of a platoon — scratch that.

There is also word that the Astros may be close to signing slugging utilityman Jose Lopez, but the deal is not final. Am I the only one surprised that Lopez still hasn’t reached the age of thirty? In fact he just turned 29 a few weeks ago. Seems like he’s been around forever.

A deal that is sealed, though, is the Marlins’ signing of Placido Polanco. It’s one year and somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.75M. A strange move by the AAA Marlins, though I could see him getting flipped to a contender near the July trade deadline.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. jed December 23, 2012 at 3:48 am
    the pirates, being the outstanding organization they are, missed the opportunity last season at the deadline when they could have traded hanrahan at peak value. instead, they decided to hold onto him – only to realize his pay increase due after this season is out of their budget. having re-signed grilli (last years 8th inning man and NL’s 4th best K/9) they saw a viable candidate to close games and decided to drop the hammer.

    of course they couldn’t have addressed two huge issues on the team by working a deal for a speedy shortstop who can lead off and steal bases… one who would be cheap since he fell out of favor with his team and is not going to see any playing time with them anytime soon – dee gordon.

    lots of pirates fans will be upset, until hanrahan blows out his arm like every other closer who relies almost exclusively on gas seems to do these days.

  2. Izzy December 23, 2012 at 8:39 am
    Ah Jed, another loyal follower of Aldersosna dn Wilpn and the new Met way namely WINNING DOESN’T MATTER. You see jed when a team iis in contention, unless its the Mets, the team tries to go to postseason. The Pirates were about 15 games over 500 last July Jed so it would have been assinine to trade their closer. But Sandy tells you otherwise so all the teams in baseball are stupid for trying to win. Only the Mets are right, and the morgue and the vast emptiness during games really proves it.
    To Joe; Hanrahan was a major part of their collapse as he couldn’t find the strike zone the second half. Unless a closer is a stud, a super stud, I beleive he is way over valued and the Bucs were smart to trade him now, not last July which a loser like Alderson would have done.
    • Joe Janish December 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm
      Thanks, Iz, I didn’t realize Hanrahan was that bad in the second half.

      And I agree with Dan below – no way Sandy would’ve traded Hanrahan at the deadline unless it was a salary dump (i.e. K-Rod).

  3. Al December 23, 2012 at 9:29 am
    Great move by the Pirates. The Hammer was due 7 mil this season and he will be a free agent at seasons end. They have Victor Black as their new 8th inning guy and Grilli as the closer. Better to get prospects now for him than to take the chance he gets hurt and you get nothing.
    • Joe Janish December 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm
      Interesting, thanks for the info.

      I had thought the Bucs were kinda sorta in win-now mode – especially after seeing all the pitchers they’re acquiring lately – and to me, $7M for an effective closer is market value.

      Jason Grilli? Really? Yikes … interested to see how that turns out.

  4. Dan B December 23, 2012 at 10:55 am
    Izzy, you are wrong about Alderson would of traded Hanaran at the trade deadline. The Mets don’t make any trades at the trading deadline. Unless they are dumping millions in salary. I am still bitter about the Billy Wagner give away.
    • Joe Janish December 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm
      Ha! That Wags deal still drives me nuts too. People can say all they want about Omar Minaya screwing up the team by signing too many FAs, but this was a case of the Wilpons’ need for immediate cash being a priority over making sound baseball decisions. It’s always been about the Wilpons and what they wanted to spend when money was growing on the Madoff tree, and what they now can’t spend because it turned out to be an artificial tree.
  5. DaveSchneck December 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    Hanrahan was lights out in 2011, but I agree with you that I’d be a little leery of him since he is affordable. I guess they preferred to spend the money on Ollie, I mean Liriano.