Heading South

Getting ready to head down to Bradenton for spring training this weekend. If you’ll be at the following games send me a tweet or email and we can try to meet up.

Thursday Orioles @ Sarasota
Friday   Rays    @ Bradenton
Saturday Red Sox @ Ft. Myers
Sunday   Orioles @ Bradenton

Look for pictures and thoughts to be posted all weekend, assuming I can figure out why my wireless card isn’t working or the hotel has an ethernet connection available.

Joel Hanrahan Trade Tree

Three weeks ago the Pirates re-signed reliever Jason Grilli to a two year contract. Many observers expected that move to signal the impending trade of closer Joel Hanrahan. Last Tuesday, the other shoe finally fell and Hanrahan was shipped to the Red Sox with IF Brock Holt, for RP Mark Melancon, OF/1B Jerry Sands, IF Ivan De Jesus and AA pitcher Stolmy Pimentel.

Hanrahan will be missed, but Melancon should be able to step into a late inning role fairly easily. The other three pieces have their pros and cons as well: Sands has big time power but doubts as to whther he can adjust to major league pitching. Pimentel has a big fastball but major control issues. De Jesus is similar to Holt – decent bat but stretched defensively at any position but 2B.

All in all, I like this trade for the Bucs. They were able to buy low on Melancon and sell high-ish on Hanrahan. It’s almost an even trade right there; the other pieces just add the potential for this be a huge deal in the Pirates’ favor.

Joel  Hanrahan Pirates

If you’re interested in the Red Sox side of the deal, I’ve updated the trade tree of their blockbuster deal with the Dodgers from this past season, adding a Mark Melancon branch.

Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox

 

Trade Tree: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford

By now you’ve heard about the blockbuster trade that happened on Saturday. Boston sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, P Josh Beckett, LF Carl Crawford and IF Nick Punto to the Dodgers for 1B James Loney and prospects Jerry Sands, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, and Rubby De La Rosa. The deal is a notable for its timing as it is for the names involved. Trades for players with contracts this large just don’t happen, especially in August. The swap dramatically alters both franchises: The Dodgers are set for a playoff run this season and a stacked lineup for next. The Sox clear heavy salary obligations on an under-performing team and give GM Ben Cherington flexibility to remake the franchise in his own vision.

What’s most notable about the tree as a whole is that there are only three players lost through free agency and none given their outright release. Whether the trades were good or bad, that a great use of available assets.

 

UPDATE: The latest version of this tree can be found in the Joel Hanrahan Trade Tree.

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