Well, it looks like the Boston Red Sox want to keep up with the Toronto Blue Jays and the rest of the American League East. The Red Sox made a trade today with the Pittsburgh Pirates for closer Joel Hanrahan. The Red Sox wanted to make a splash and the Pirates wanted to get something for their closer before he hit free agency in 2014.
Many have said that the Red Sox won this deal. If one just goes off names alone, then yes, the Red Sox did win. However, let’s dig a little deeper. First, the Red Sox did give away two big names from their farm system. They traded Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus Jr. Both of these players came to the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Dodgers during that huge trade that both teams made in the summer.
It isn’t like both Sands and De Jesus aren’t good players either. In two years at Triple A, Sands hit .288 with an on base percentage of .362. He also has hit 55 home runs in that two year span. I think that with Sands, the Pirates netted a great prospect.
As for De Jesus, in his three seasons at Triple A, he hit .303 had an on base percentage of .355 and hit 65 home runs. He also has 80 big league appearances. Once again, I think this is a great prospect that the Red Sox let go.
Second, although Hanrahan is a great closer, there are a couple red flags. Some scouts have been concerned about his conditioning rate. Scouts have also become concerned about his increase in walks. In 2011 he was at 2.1 BB/9 innings. In 2012 that increased to 5.4 BB/9 innings. That is a huge jump.
I think that the Pirates are actually being very shrewd in this trade. During the winter, they signed Jason Grilli to a two year $6.75 million dollar contract. If Grilli can lockdown the closer role, then the Pirates got him pretty cheap.
Red Sox fans might be laughing at the Pirates now for trading Hanrahan, but it might be the Pirates and their fans that get the last laugh after all is said and done.
Do you think this is a good trade? Leave a comment and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319