Winter Meetings Buzz: Pirates have mindset that they owe it to themselves to listen to offers for Hanrahan

By John Perrotto
Sources: Pirates high on Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish
The Pirates’ marketing department might have gotten a little bit ahead of itself.
One of the promotions at PNC Park in 2012 is Joel Hanrahan Bobblehead Night on May 12 when the Pirates host the Houston Astros.
However, there is at least a chance that the Pirates closer won’t be on the team come next May. It is also possible that he won’t be a Pirate by the time baseball’s winter meetings end next Thursday in Dallas.
Multiple teams are looking for closers this winter and Hanrahan was one of the best in the major leagues last season when he converted 40 of 44 saves opportunities with a 1.68 ER and a 1.05 WHIP in 70 games.
While the Pirates aren’t actively shopping Hanrahan, they are willing to listen to offers for him, especially since he figures to earn a raise from $1.4 million to at least $4 million this winter through the arbitration process.
A Pirates’ source said “we think the world of Joel and the job he’s done for us but we also owe it to ourselves to at least listen to what other teams will offer because you never know how badly somebody wants a player.”
General manager Neal Huntington is a big believer in advanced statistical analysis and one of the tenets of sabermetrics is that closers are overvalued because they account for so few of a team’s
innings over the course of a season. Hanrahan is certainly a case in point as he pitched just 4.7 percent of the Pirates’ innings in 2011, working 68 2/3 of 1,449 1/3.

The source said the Pirates ideally would want a package of players in a trade for Hanrahan that would consist of an impact hitter who could step in the major-league lineup next season and be
under club control for at least three years along with a highly regarded prospect and a secondary prospect.
Boston, Cincinnati, the New York Mets and Toronto have all reportedly inquired about Hanrahan. The Red Sox seem like the best match for a potential trade as the Pirates are high on left-handed hitting outfielder Ryan Kalish.
The 23-year-old Kalish did not play in the major leagues last season and was limited to 24 minor-league games last season after suffering a separated shoulder while making a diving catch
for Class AAA Pawtucket in April.
He debuted with the Red Sox in 2010 and batted .252 with four home runs, 24 RBIs, 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts, a .305 on-base percentage and .405 slugging percentage in 53 games and 179 plate appearances.
There has been speculation that the Pirates might look to trade center fielder Andrew McCutchen at the winter meetings since talks between he and the club over a long-term contract extension have gone nowhere. However, the Pirates’ source said the chances of McCutchen being traded are “highly unlikely, make that highly, highly unlikely.”
John Perrotto has covered the Pirates and Major League Baseball since 1988.
NOTES
33 year old starting pitcher Chris Capuano signed a 2 year – $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers today. As we confirmed a few weeks ago, Capuano was near the top of the Pirates wishlist. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.com, reports the Pirates and Twins were involved in the pursuit of Capuano before he signed with the Dodgers today….The Pittsburgh Pirates have interest in 36 year old infielder Mark Derosa as a utility infielder and possible candidate to push Pedro Alvarez for playing time at third base. Derosa hit .279 in 47 games last season for San Francisco. Derosa has missed significant time past couple seasons due to a left wrist injury that required two surgeries. Derosa told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports today that the Pirates, Nationals, Indians and Rangers have all spoken to his surgeon. Derosa appeared in 16 games at third base last season — DePaoli.

About The Author

John Perrotto

Pirates Insider

John Perrotto is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports, covering the Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB. John has covered the Pirates for over 20+ seasons and is an exclusive member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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