Joel Hanrahan Rumors: Dodgers, Red Sox, and Tigers Updates

Here are the latest Joel Hanrahan rumors:

**Earlier today Rob Biertempfel reported that the Pirates are interested in Rick Porcello, but that the Detroit Tigers won’t deal him straight up for Hanrahan.

**Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Dodgers and Red Sox are showing interest in Hanrahan. Heyman notes that the Dodgers have starting pitching in Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. He also notes that a Red Sox package could feature multiple players, including a young pitcher.

Heyman notes that the Dodgers are considering a variety of relievers, including Chris Perez or Bobby Parnell.

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Joe Sweetnich

I believe it is common knowledge that WAR undervalues closers. Jim Bowden on XM just this afternoon stated in his opinion Hanrahan and Porcello straight up would be a good deal for both teams.

How is WAR rectified to properly evaluate closers. As I recall, Shane Victorino was valued higher than Aroldis Chapman last year.

La Pirate

I see no urgency in trading Hannie, either we get good salary relief or fill a hole or perhaps a couple of close to ready prospects our bullpen would be weaker without Joel. The Pirates must be thinking they can make a run at it but it will be tougher this year than last but the team will be better. I am not opposed going into the spring with essentially the roster where it is.

Fred Langford

Closers’ value may be overrated but one thing i have seen in my 25 years of trying to jump on the next cheap fantasy league closer…a lot of guys can pitch in relief and even be dominant…but not every guy can be inserted into the closer role and be great. Ask jason Motte who failed his first try. The kid for the Yanks this year….countless others. Hanrahan has the 98mph fb, the wipeout slider, and yes, the head and experience to be thrown in there every ninth and get the job done. Piece of mind adds value. That’s why you wait it out if you are NH. The closer other gms get to ST and guys are picked up and rosters are filled the more gms will consider Hanrahan. There is no reason to dump him off for some 2 war guy when we can keep him half a year than deal him if nothing comes up. What is another 3.6 mil?

Fred Langford

If he doesn’t bring team changing talent in return everyone should be happy to have a guy with stuff like him in the 9th. He is pitching for his first and last big contract. Look out.


The Problem with the Tigers is they don’t particularly want Hanrahan, but there are teams that do, such as the Rangers and the Red Sox. Porcello is not the only pitcher that the Pirates could use, in fact if I were dealing with the Tigers I would rather take a run at Smyly, in either case dealing with the Tigers would seem to me that the Pirates would have to be giving up more talent than would be necessary with the Sox or Rangers.


That’s an advantage to the Pirates. If Detroit wants a world series they have to win the American League. They have an extra incentive to trade for Hanny – keep him away from two other contenders in the AL.


Tim: IMO, Detroit has some re-treads and a young kid who throws a bunch, but who has AA-level experience, with only 8 IP in AAA, giving up 5 H, 7W, and getting 9K’s. This is the late inning specialists? However, they are right that Hanrahan alone is not equal exchange for Rick Porcello. Hanrahan and take your pick of Tabata, Presley, or Harrison.


Taking a very quick look at Porcello, he has been a 2.7-2.9 WAR guy in front of one of the worst infield defenses. Let’s say for this purpose he’s a 3 WAR pitcher. With 3 years of control left, that’s 9 WAR at $45M using $5M/WAR (conservative).

He earned $3.1M in 2012 and is projected to earn $4.7M this year in arb-2, so let’s put his arb-3 at $7M and arb-4 at $10M. That’s $21.7M in salary, giving him about $23.3M in surplus value. Using our revised numbers, that’s a #26 -50 hitter or an #11 -25 pitcher (each is around $18M).

In short, I don’t think Tabata, Presley, or Harrison gets it done. Porcello is a good, not great, pitcher that has value. I think a package of Hanrahan, Tabata, and 1 of Nick Kingham/Clay Holmes is the starting point.

Porcello would be a great get for the Pirates and Hanrahan has very little surplus on his own. There would need to be real talent moved back.


Kevin: Porcello only has 2 years of control, and the Pirates are still building. About the time we will watch him go to Free Agency, either Kingham or Holmes will be ready to step up – we need that depth in SP’s. Hanrahan is a Closer with 76 Saves in 2 years for a team that only won 151 games over that period – better than 50% of the games the team has won. Tabata is a VG prospect with a long term contract that is fantastic. In Pittsburgh he is excess baggage, but not so in many other MLB cities.


No, he has 3 years left. His service time is 3 years, 170 days. Because the Tigers brought him up one week into the 2009 season, they bought nearly a full year of service.

In essence, the Tigers could control him for 7 full calender seasons because of those 2 days.


Kevin, I think you are undervaluing MLB GM valuation of a “proven closer”. There is no question that WAR undervalues closers (and relievers in general). I agree that they arn’t as valuable as most GM’s think, but Dave Dombrowski has recently employed Jose Valverde at a high price tag. Joel’s value to a team trying to win the WS in 2013 is certainly higher than for most teams. I would think that Joel plus a C prospect or two (someone like ZVR, Dodson or Cunnigham) would be enough.


Perhaps, but every year that goes by the whole “proven closer”/big $$ theory sees less and less players sign as FA’s. More and more GM’s are re-allocating dollars to other positions each year.

I would love for Joel + C prospect to do it, but I don’t see that happening.


Yeah, but $6-7 million for Joel isn’t big money, its equivalent to Jon Broxton and Jeremy Affeldt money. That and Porcello makes $4 million so its $3 million for a proven closer for a team that expects to win 90+ games. We will see, but usually these types of trades involve far lesser prospects than fans expect. Kind of like the AJ trade last year when many thought we’d be giving up Jones or name guys.


A Porcello trade would have very little in common with AJ Burnett’s trade. One is a 24 year old with 3 years of control at below-market rates. The other was an older pitcher that wasn’t earning his full salary with the Yankees and they wanted to cut costs.

Porcello has way more trade value than Burnett did last year.


I know the Detroit infield has a lousy defensive rep, but if you look at their numbers (and I’m using B-R’s here) they haven’t been bad at all–not great, certainly, but not awful. I don’t think coming to Pittsburgh would give him any particular boost on that score, and it’s not a given that the Tigers have been hurting him much on that score.


Last year, the Pirates were 12th in MLB in Defensive Efficiency Rating and the Tigers were 26th.


That’s true, but DER includes everybody, and the Tigers were pulled down by Delmon Young and Boesch; if you compare the infields, there’s not much difference in the numbers.


Is there a good way to measure the OF versus IF contribution to DEF? There probably is, but I’m not aware of it.

One thing that I like to look at is the batting average against on groundballs. The AL average in 2012 was .238. But for DET it was .254. It was also .238 in the NL (a bit surprising given the lack of DH). But PIT came in at .221.

I’m sure there is a different/better way to measure the IF contribution to defense. But that’s something that I like to look at.

Bottom line: I agree with Kevin’s assessment.


And there lies the issue is Porcello really a 3 WAR player. You are using fangraphs data points. Looking at bbref’s numbers he has posted a 2.2, -0.1, 0.0 and 1.4 WAR the last 4 years respectively. If you call him a 1.5 WAR pitcher all of the sudden he loses nearly all of that value.


I use Fangraphs WAR exclusively for my work, as I prefer their method of pitcher WAR (FIP-based) to B-Ref’s. I just think Fangraphs methodology is stronger.

IC Bob

Do some of those high school arms that have not shined in our minors have value in Detroit? What about Rosenburg, Crompton, Black or a combo of those types of pitchers that we have in the minors. Porcello loses value for Detroit if he doesn’t start so trading him now gives them their best package. I doubt they take Tabata for any reason but I think some lively arms from the minors along with Hanrahan could swing the deal our way. They will not go into the season with the rookie Rondon as their closer.


I agree that the Rondon-as-closer is a bluff on the Tigers part. They do have a need for another OF besides Jackson and Hunter. Right now it’s Boesch or Avasail Garcia — not awe-inspiring.

If a player isn’t shining in our system, like ZVR, why would they be valuable in DET’s eyes?

DET is a win-now team, so they would probably want a AA-AAA prospect that could contribute in 2013/2014 — whether Victor Black is appealing to them, I don’t know.

And regarding Porcello, he would start over Smyly who they can just option to AAA. So it’s not like he has declining value.


Right now Detroit is trying to fill needs on the major league roster as are the Pirates, they don’t want or need players that might need 4 or 5 years to become solid major league players. Both of these teams can win now with the right moves and both can go down the drain with the wrong moves. I think any minor league players traded between these two teams would just be throw in players of not much value. Pot sweetners I call them. IMO, Detroit would probably want a Marte with Hanrahan to get Porcello and the Pirates would surely balk at that.

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