LATEST JOEL HANRAHAN RUMORS
After being involved in preliminary talks with the Pirates at the Winter Meetings about a possible Joel Hanrahan – Rick Porcello trade, the Detroit Tigers decided late last week against pursuing Hanrahan, leading to the Pirates to aggressively turn their attention to Francisco Liriano who they have agreed to a 2 year, $14 million contract with pending a physical.
Taking on Liriano’s salary, Pirates management remains determined to move closer Joel Hanrahan.
The Hanrahan trade sweepstakes appear to be down to two teams in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, both teams expressing constant interest this month. The market, according to sources, has never developed past three to four teams having interest.
The Pirates had briefly discussed a trade for Dodgers starter Chris Capuano but that is now off the table and the Pirates main target from the Dodgers for weeks has been 24 year old shortstop Dee Gordon. Despite being a bench player and behind Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers have had a high asking price for the 24 year old who’s an excellent base stealer with 56 steals in 143 career MLB games.
The Pirates have discussed multiple names with the Red Sox and one player Pittsburgh is said to be targeting is shortstop Jose Iglesias, according to John Perrotto. Iglesias is an excellent defensive shortstop with elite ability but has a ways to go in developing into an MLB caliber hitter. Iglesias hit .266/.318/.306 with 1 home run and 23 RBIs for Pawtucket last season. In 2012, he appeared in 25 games with the Red Sox hitting .118.
Here’s a scouting report on Iglesias per Soxprospects.com: “Elite defensive skills highlighted by extremely fluid hands and soft glove. Excellent instincts and anticipation produces his well above-average range. Will get to balls that most, if not all, will not. Plus, accurate arm. Adept at throwing on the move and has outstanding body control. Future perennial Gold Glove shortstop. Grades as an “80” defensively. Can also play second and third base more than adequately. Major League ready in the field. Plus bat speed accented by quick wrists. Low maintenance, compact swing. Little lower body in swing mechanics. Pulls ball hard, but struggles driving the ball the other way. Minimal power projection. Can evolve into a solid-average hitter for batting average and show doubles power as he matures. Small frame with not much more room to pack on muscle. Extremely impatient approach. Making strides and improving with understanding of his strike zone, but inexperienced professionally and very age advanced. Neglects to cover outer third of plate with eyes. Struggles staying back against breaking balls. Must improve with handling of off-speed stuff to hit consistently at big league level. Above-average speed. Projects as #9 hitter in first division team’s lineup, with ceiling of #2 hitter as he approaches his late-20s. Due to advanced defensive skills will most likely learn to hit at the major league level and slowly ramp into becoming more proficient at the plate over the course of big league career.”