Why the Joel Hanrahan Trade is a Good Move

The Joel Hanrahan trade was completed today, with Hanrahan and Brock Holt going to Boston. The Pirates received four players in the trade: Jerry Sands, Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. Here are my thoughts on each player in the deal, and the overall trade.

From the Pirates

Joel Hanrahan – Hanrahan is a great reliever. However, I’m not a believer in small market teams paying relief pitchers this much. He’d be making about $7 M in 2013, which is about 10% of the payroll. Call it a salary dump if you want, but that doesn’t mean dealing him and cutting that salary is a bad decision. That money could be better spent elsewhere, rather than having $7 M in payroll tied up to a guy who pitches one inning, and only when the team is winning in the 9th by three runs or less. Hanrahan is a good reliever, but the smart move here is trying to get value for him and trying to free up that payroll for someone who has a bigger role on the team.

Brock Holt – Holt arrived in Pittsburgh in September, hitting for a .292 average in 65 at-bats. He’s always been a strong hitter in the minors, with a high average, a high OBP, and a low strikeout rate. He’s struggled defensively throughout his career. He’s played shortstop, but doesn’t have the defense to handle the position. He’s not strong defensively at second either, making him a utility player in the majors with his value coming from the bat and his speed.

From the Red Sox

Mark Melancon – I found it interesting that the first name discussed in the press release was Melancon. That doesn’t necessarily mean he was the main piece of the deal, but I think his value makes him one of the top two guys in the return. I wrote about Melancon the other day. He’s a guy who is coming off a down year, but prior to 2012 had some strong numbers. In fact, the Red Sox acquired him last off-season for Jed Lowrie. His advanced metrics suggest he will bounce back, and that his 2012 numbers were a fluke. Most of his damage in 2012 came in the first four outings. Melancon gave up five homers in his first four appearances, then was sent to Triple-A. He returned in June, and had a 4.19 ERA in 43 innings over the remainder of the season, with a 40:10 K/BB ratio and three homers allowed. Reports out of Boston suggest that Melancon’s issues could have been due to Bobby Valentine, which seemed to be a common issue with Red Sox players last year. Melancon seems like a great bounce back candidate. He’s got four years of control remaining, posts dominant ratios, and looked like a great late inning reliever prior to his down year in Boston. It’s almost a similar story to Hanrahan. It wouldn’t surprise me if Melancon bounces back and provides the Pirates with a strong 8th inning man next year to set-up for Jason Grilli. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Melancon’s numbers were similar to Hanrahan’s in 2013.

Jerry Sands – Sands has always hit for a lot of power in the minors, with a career ISO of .273. The question is whether he can be productive in the majors. So far he’s hit for a .244/.325/.376 line in 221 at-bats, with most of that coming in 2011. He can play the corner outfield positions and first base, although his defense isn’t strong and his future value would come from his offense. The addition of Sands will probably lead to some fallout. The Pirates seem to be over-loaded with corner outfield/first base types. The Pirates have Starling Marte, Travis Snider, Jose Tabata, and Alex Presley for the corner outfield spots. Marte and Snider should have the inside track for those starting jobs. At first base they’ve got Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez. Sands has an option remaining, so he could go to Triple-A. The Pirates have several first base options at Triple-A (Clint Robinson, Matt Hague, Matt Curry), so Sands would probably play the outfield. It’s still a crowded situation, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see another move made to clear up space. The move that might make the most sense is a trade of Garrett Jones, which would be an opportunity to sell high on his 2012 season, while giving someone like Clint Robinson or Sands a chance to take over at first base.

Stolmy Pimentel – Pimentel was once a top prospect in Boston’s system, but has dealt with some fastball command issues. He has a plus changeup and the potential for a plus slider. The latter pitch was added last year. His fastball is usually 92-94, touching 95, and sits mid-90s as a reliever. He only has one option remaining, and hasn’t pitched above Double-A, where his numbers have struggled. The Pirates will have a limited amount of time to turn him around before he needs to be in the majors. They’ll probably keep him in the rotation, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually take the Bryan Morris/Justin Wilson approach and move him to the bullpen to work out his issues. He’ll be 23 next year, so he’s got time to work on his issues from an age perspective. The time constraint here comes with his option years.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. – This is the name we hadn’t heard about until today. De Jesus was acquired (along with Sands and three other players) in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to Los Angeles. De Jesus broke his leg in 2009, which has hurt some of his value. He’s played shortstop in the past, but profiles better at second, where he has strong defense. He’s been a good hitter in the minors, with gap power. He looks like a guy who could make it as a utility infielder, playing second, third, and having the chance to play short in a pinch. The Red Sox designated him for assignment earlier in the off-season to make room for Rule 5 additions. He cleared waivers at the time and was outrighted to Triple-A. Any team could have had him for free at that point, so he’s not a guy who has a lot of value in this trade.

The Trade

It’s difficult to break down a multi-player trade. It’s hard to say who exactly the Pirates got for Hanrahan. What player(s) made it necessary for Brock Holt to be added? Who were the main players in the deal? All of these are very subjective view points. Rather than trying to say that Group 1 was traded for Hanrahan and Group 2 was traded for Holt, I’m just going to look at the potential impact of this deal.

The more I read about Melancon, the more I like his inclusion in the deal. I really think that Melancon could put up the same numbers as Hanrahan in 2013. His 2011 season was dominant, and I think there are a lot of things you can point to that suggest 2012 was a fluke (unlucky HR/FB ratio, issues in Boston’s clubhouse). I think that a Grilli/Melancon combo could be just as effective as a Hanrahan/Grilli combo. Keep in mind that I’ve never cared about bullpen roles, and I don’t believe that it takes a special skill to be a closer, outside of striking out a lot of batters, and limiting walks and homers. When you add that Melancon is about $6.5 M cheaper than Hanrahan, and has four years of control remaining, I think I’d rather have Melancon.

On that same note, I think De Jesus and Holt are similar. Both have been strong hitters in the minors. De Jesus has better defense than Holt, and Holt has better speed. They’re both utility players with six years of control remaining. I don’t see either one eventually becoming a starter. Their values are about the same.

I think there’s a strong chance that Melancon/De Jesus will be just as effective as Hanrahan/Holt. Then you’ve got the other factors in the deal, starting with Jerry Sands. Sands is a key part of this deal. He’s probably the difference maker in this deal. If he is successful carrying his hitting over to the majors, the Pirates will have a great deal. If he’s not successful, then it’s likely that the Pirates will just be getting the same production for less money and more years. That’s good, but for the 2013 purposes of this deal it doesn’t provide an upgrade.

Pimentel is also a wild card in this deal, although I’m not as high on him with his issues and lack of time to work out those issues. Unless the Pirates can turn him around quickly, he’ll probably end up as a reliever. That’s not a bad thing, but the Pirates don’t seem to have trouble finding good relievers, so you’d hope for something different here.

I think that in 2013 the combo of Melancon/De Jesus could provide the same production as Hanrahan/Holt. That combo would cost much less, giving the Pirates some extra payroll space to make additional moves this off-season (the current payroll projection is at $66.5 M). Melancon is under control for three more years than Hanrahan. His situation now seems similar to Hanrahan’s when he was acquired in 2009. If he does immediately turn things around, then the Pirates have a great reliever for four years, rather than a great reliever for one year. On top of that they’d also have Sands and Pimentel, who will be the deciding factors in this deal. Both guys come with some risk, but they also both come with the potential for a high reward.

From here we still have some unanswered questions. What will the Pirates do about their excess of players at the first base/corner outfield positions? Will that lead to a trade of Garrett Jones? What will the Pirates do with the money saved from Hanrahan (and potentially Jones)? Those will be things that will be answered throughout the off-season, and will very much play a role in the big picture analysis of this deal. For now I like this deal. The Pirates might not lose any production in 2013 with Melancon/De Jesus, they’re getting two upside players in Sands and Pimentel, they’re getting extra years of control, and they’re freeing up over $6 M in the process.

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So, other teams should have traded the likes of: Travis D’arnaud (elite catching prospect), Mark Trumbo/Billy Butler (legit power hitter), or Machado/Andrus/Profar/Bogaerts (young SS), or Trevor Bauer type pitcher, for 1 yr of a closer that wont even net you a comp pick?!

Imagine if the Buccos traded Hanson, Polanco, Taillon, Bell, Heredia, or Marte for a one year rental closer! The pitchforks would be marching outside PNC ASAP!


To all of you loyal readers saying NH should have “gotten a young impact SS or legit power hitter.” …. WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! WHAT SS WAS AVAILABLE?! you want the rarest commodity for one yr of a $7million closer?! Profar? Machado? get real.
WHAT POWER BATS?! Upton? Billy Butler? Seriously, GIVE US NAMES, GIVE US LEGIT OPTIONS! Who are these mythical people you seek? You don’t think the gm wanted the same thing? You think those players were just sitting there and the gm said “hmmm nah, I’ll go with this AA suspect instead.”

To those saying “shoulda just hung onto him and got compensation” not happening. Those saying he shoulda traded Hanny a yr or two ago are the same ones who would burned NH at the stake if he traded the contending teams closer. Plus, how high was Hanny’s value two yrs ago when he wasn’t even an all star yet. Oh, and how many of you wizards out there knew Hanny was gonna be a legit allstar closer when he was traded for?

What do we really know? Maybe the dodgers wanted Hanny AND Jones for Cap and Gordon and NH said no.


This trade is bad, heres why.

1. it didnt’ address a need. we got nothing we didn’t already have too much of.
2. For those that believe that Melancon will produce at Hanny like levels. then why did Boston not only want Hanny and his looming #7 mil. salary, why did they also throw in other players ?
3. This money is’t going to get other players, that player is already here in Liriano.

It’s a dump, pure and simple. the team didn’t get better because of it.

Steve Zielinski

The Pirates likely will get the same or similar production from Melacon as they would have gotten from Hanrahan had he remained a Pirate. They also achieved financial relief for their troubles. If by “good trade” one means a trade that helps the team, then I believe this trade is a good one. Sands, et al are just dice rolls. Holt amounts to the same for the Red Sox.

The problem with this trade is obvious. The Pirates would have likely gotten a better return for Hanrahan had they traded him a few years ago. But they didn’t. And, sadly, Huntington could not convince Boston to include a decent prospect in this deal. I liked Owens since he fit an organizational need.

Todd Smith

If they had traded Hanrahan two years ago, maybe they could have pried Stolmy Pimentel away from the Red Sox. He was a player the Pirates coveted at the time and was highly rated as the #9 prospect in the Red Sox system.


Everyone would have cheered because NH would have “landed a top ten prospect!”


And I haven’t even spoken. :)) the above comments couldn’t have been more Accurate. We traded an All Star and got back little value.


Tim, I am a loyal reader of site and think your insights are outstanding, but cannot agree on the logic on this deal. The Pirates need guys that will get them on Sunday night baseball, not another 4th outfielder that trots out on Sunday afternoon ‘B’ team.

Prospects with a declining trajectory should not be the Pirates target as it suggests their past pedigree somehow will positively shape the 2015 Pirates; it hasn’t and won’t. The goal should be to make the playoffs and compete, not marginally improve the farm system with scratch tickets prospects.

It seems they could have received Melancon and Ingeles for Hanrahan and Holt; less expensive replacement and upside prospect.

I hope you are right on this one, but it feels like another marginal improvement to a team that is lacking impact hitters in the heart of lineup. It feels like we added another number 7 hitter and a 7th inning setup man.

Todd Smith

You’re not going to get an established, impact, middle of the order bat for 1 year of Joel Hanrahan. The best you can hope for is a guy that has a CHANCE to be an impact, middle of the order bat. Similar to what the A’s got last year with Josh Reddick. Jerry Sands fits that.

Getting Melancon in the deal also means we lose no real, major production in the bullpen, gain an extra 3 years of control and save almost $7MM this season. It’s hard to complain about this deal, which is why I find it so confusing that so many are trying.


I think you are higher on Jerry Sands than most people are.

The people at SoxProspects, whom Tim has referenced, were considerably more glowing in their praise of Reddick (http://www.soxprospects.com/players/reddick-josh.htm) than Sands (http://www.soxprospects.com/players/sands-jerry.htm)


Of we lose no real production by swapping Melancon for Hanny then why did the Red Sox trade him? did they want to spend the extra $6.5 mil. just for kicks ?

People are complaining because once again the Pirate FO would rather make a bad deal, and save money, than make no deal at all.


It just seems like the front office is afraid to put everything on the table and decide that this is the year they are going to make a run at it. They are scared…..its just been so long since they did it. They just don’t realize that trying and failing will be viewed more positively than if they do nothing or keep building pieces for the future. Suck it up, just put the best team out there you can with pieces you know can do the job, not that you hope will be able to do the job in the future….the time is now. The city needs it this year. We cannot trade anyone who has offensive proven talent after last year’s horrid second half offensively. A trade of Jones without getting back a short stop prospect, and lets face it……he won’t get that as a return……makes us a worse team. We need to win in 13, and to do that, we quite frankly NEED Garrett Jones. We also NEED a short stop upgrade. And we need a lot of other things too, but what we don’t need, is more players at positions we already have a glut. You’d think the baseball players factory is going to discontinue big tall slow power hitting first baseman/right fielders or something the way we are collecting them.


Regarding your tweet about people who don’t like Buc moves citing basic stats but people in favor citing advanced stats, don’t you think you cited advanced stats on the off season FA acquisitions last year? IMO that comes across a bit arrogant on your part especially since those advanced metrics weren’t reliable regarding Barajas (both offense and defense) or Barmes ability to hit. Also, it looks like Keith Law doesn’t think this does much for the Bucs, calling the return a ‘passel of suspects’.

NorCal Buc

Melancon alone is worth dealing Hanny, who was gone after October anyways.

Sands may indeed develop into something special.

OTH, for those guys who EPXECT Neil H to acquire a TOP FLIGHT impact player for Hanny, that’s La-La land thinking. Hanny, at $7 MILLION, for one season, would NOT bring that return.

Now, trading Starling Marte AND Gerrit Cole MAY bring that one stud player. Though, I would NOT make that deal.

We actually are developing that one stud player. His name is Pedro Alvarez. OR Starling Marte. And Andrew McCutchen.

Wilfredo Lopez

i like the trade, sands has some power, pimentel will not help this year but has upside, melancon becomes the 8th inning guy and i will say this, de jesus is finally healthy, he had a horrific leg injury a few years back and he was never the same, but he is leading the puertorrican winter league in hitting, a healthy .336 and he has a slick glove, so imo he will stick with the team as a utility….

Scott Stauffer

When is it reasonale to expect that when we make a trade we dont have to pray that a questionable propsect magically figures it out. Instead of 4 projects, cant we just get one legit mlb ready player or prospect. Our record with these kinds of deals is just not great. A 1/2 year of a good James McDonald is not validation.

Brian Bernard

Firstly, I don’t think anyone will complain too loudly about the team moving Hanrahan. Awesome run with “The big Irish guy” as Hurdle called him. He was a candidate to move and had interest from around the league which is what it takes to pull off a trade.
My problem is not the value of the return Tim, but rather the value of the players coming to the team. In this case I really hate this trade because the players coming back add nothing to the existing team. Melancon is no addition, or DeJesus because we already had that. Sands and Pimental already exist too, just in other blank avatars. My point is we didn’t add to any areas of need. There is no value in piling average corner outfielders/ first basemen and fringe prospects – We needed 1, just one impact player at a position of need. Even if it meant waiting a few years to see that player develop. A SS, or a legit power bat, or an elite catching prospect – maybe a significant starting pitcher prospect like Trevor Baur…
My take is that even if other trades are to come, they are technically irrelevant if you aren’t moving the product forward when measuring overall system talent.
The only question is if this is the only real value that Hanrahan had? Holt, who I liked as another dirt-ball type may never get to Pedroia’s level, but adding him to this deal simply is throwing away development money. A guy produces and you add him in to a deal to supplement an aquisition. I guess I’m ok if I look at it as Pimental for Holt… but there are more question marks with Pimental than Holt IMO.
At some point you have to stop shopping at the Dollar Store for Christmas bargains.


It’s always a good move in Timland! And here’s why, it SAVES MONEY(which the Pirates are always down with), and returns YEARS OF CONTROL.

The fact that the years of control have still netted zero winning seasons so far is mere commentary. Will this move sink the Pirates chances for 2013? Of course not, because they already didn’t have a chance. The latest meme has been how Hanrahan was a ‘throw in’.

Yes, the Pirates snookered someone! How comical.


Did somebody post the Pirates Prospects web address on Smizik’s page today?


Man is it fun reading posts from “knowledgeable” Pirates throwing hissy fits over trading a closer who was owed 1/10 of the payroll, would provide the team with no draft compensation at the end of the season, had seen a huge increase in BB’s and who has a fastball that is losing velocity.

On a side note, I would much rather be in Timland relying on logic and facts to formulate an opinion on moves by the Pirates than in Smizikstan or AzerDejan where doom and gloom is the only way to approach the teams moves.

Stephen Brooks

AzerDejan. Very clever, sir.


Stephen : I wholeheartedly 2nd that ! I wish I would have thought of it !

Kevin Anstrom

By my count the Pirates now have 42 players on the 40-man roster (add Liriano+Sands+Pimentel+Melancon subtract Holt+Hanrahan). The Holt – DeJesus swap helped the Pirates a bit b/c DeJesus is not on the 40-man roster. Any ideas when the roster moves will be made?


I like the trade. I think that maybe due to the success by steelers and penguins and the 20 yr streak there is such an urgency to win now. Trust me I want to win now too but paying a closer 7 mil on a small market team isn’t feasible. Plus closer is such an easy position to replace. Rays dumped soriano and now have Rodney who got cy young votes. Not saying that will happen here but it was better to get some value from hammer than trying to win this year and sacrificing the future. More realistic is that this team wins in 14 and 15 when cutch is in his prime and you have cole and maybe taillon helping


I understand 7 million is a lot for a Pirate closer, but it sounds like this trade wasn’t made with 2013 in mind. I get that Cole and Tallion will be up in a couple of years but Burnett and Wandy will be gone. It may be ayear or two after that before anyone of merit comes up through the farm system. When will the Pirates have the major league roster which will allow them to compete?


I think the Pirates should explore trading Garrett Jones to Baltimore for JJ Hardy.

I know Hardy has been shopped around a bit and they can move Machado to SS. Jones would be a good fit at 1B/DH with Chris Davis and can probably move to LF if/when the real McLouth returns. (Not sure who they would put at 3B though if Machado moves out of that slot.)

Hardy would then give the Pirates a real SS, and Barmes can sit on the bench for some late game defensive help (or just be cut outright) and it would clear out some of the logjam at 1B/Corner OF.


Hardy would be a nice piece, but you don’t get him even-up for Jones.


Tim – how do scouts view Scott Van Slyke? He seems like a player similar to Sands (same size, similar minor league numbers) and the Dodgers just DFA’d Van Slyke.


That’s a good point.


As a lifelong pirate fan who can still remember Sid Thrift, looking like a hayseed/bumpkin, yet wheeling & dealing some amazing trades that had him {& us all} saying “Y’all said we needed some outfielders & now we can open up the back of the stationwagon & a bunch of good ones come tumbling out”…this was him on the radio following another wiley trade. You NEVER get the feeling NH pulls off a blockbuster or EVER a shrewd trade! You’d think that across the ENTIRE MAJOR LEAGUES he’d be able to find ONE impact player in return for arguably one of their few valuable players. To hear the “brain trust” talk, (notice the small caps), they seem to know what they are doing; but by golly, will they EVER do anything to fire up the fans beyond settilng for just plugging along & keeping our fingers crossed in hopes of avoiding a 3rd. decade of losing!?


AJ Burnett and Hanrahan have been ‘impact’ players for the Pirates and both were acquired in ‘shrewd’ trades made by NH.


To be fair, he’s had some successes, especially following the last couple truly disasterous regimes (I can remember when Littlefield took over from Cam Bonifay in 2001-one wag stated:”His name better be David Copperfield” [hawhaw!]
At any rate, despite some progress w/ a limited budget, not many league wide observers would put “shrewd” & “Impact Player” in the same sentence with the current regime!!


If you go back and look at some of the drafts that Thrift presided over–drafts that were a big part of launching the current losing-season streak–his “genius” shines a bit less brightly.


Well, he presided over the drafts during the Leyland era until 1988, bringing in B Bonilla et al, only to leave following “misunderstandings” w/ownership-this, of course, generated the early 90’s Buccos-the last winners in 20 yrs.He was followed by the forgettable Larry Doughty era…he shifted over to Baltimore for a few yrs., not sure of their fate during this time, but I’m pretty sure it was sellout after sellout [not of the Pirate variety ;0)] at Camden yards. Wish we had him back, but I think he’s off scouting some sandlot team somewhere in Valhalla!

bench player

I don’t think trading Jones is a good idea. He may not duplicate his 2012 numbers in 2013 but who do they have that has a better chance of doing it. He was one of the top 3 offensive producers last year. They have already tried to replace him with Laroche, Clement, Overbay and McGehee.

Todd Smith

I think Jones is going to be too expensive for a part-time, platoon player in 2014, so it would be wise to move him at some point this year.


I hope I am wrong in the long run, but this is a garbage trade. Here is to 21 and counting!


An all star reliever for a middle inning reliever and another..Jeff Clement…Lastings MIlledge….andy Laroche…just plug in a name ..the list goes on and on.. How can we trust the Pirate talent scouts to recognize talent!!! ..what have they done in the past to justify the belief that this time they got it right ..I am tired of the excuse of a small market team..I dont want the best scoreboard in the league…I dont want summer jams…i want talented baseball players who bring winning baseball….not a lot of talk and broken promises by this organization….how can you put any positive spin on this then what it is …A SALARY DUMP ..PERIOD!!..Stop telling me how well Pirate fest was…dont tell me what upside the 20 th best prospsect in the red sox system has..find me people who can recognize talent..not upside potential !!…This organization remains a joke in the indusrty and the people of this city who follow this team are again left with an inferior product…managed by inferior baseball management..the only thing certain about this trade is we will again be reading next year about the progress we made…the younger guys are getting better…Styx will be in town for 2 shows !!… and what upside potential the next flavor of the month …and how and when will we stop losing for the 21 st consecutive year..

Todd Smith

You do understand that the Pirates acquired Joel Hanrahan in a trade, which pretty much invalidates your entire point, right?


Wow ! It sure looks to me like the spill over from Smizikstan and DK VILLE is coming this way Tim. No ” shrewd ” trades,no ” impact ” players for a $ 7 mil doller reliever who at the present time will be a FA after the 2013 season ? Do you people pay attention to MLB deals at all ?


I know a lot of people have said that Sands is the key to this deal, but he’s put up numbers that, in the context of the PCL, just don’t say a whole lot, and he certainly doesn’t have much in the way of defensive value. The guy who has a chance to make this deal more than just OK is Pimentel–he’s something of a reclamation project ( which is good, because the Pirates were in danger of running short on those) but of the pieces the Bucs received, I think he offers the most in terms of raw tools.

Lee Young

Personally, I don’t see either one making an impact.

I see it as a trade of util infielders….and more years of control for a reliever.

Nothing more or less. And, like “Y2JGQ2 ” says above, it doesn’t really strengthen our team….nor weaken it.




Isn’t any money saved from this deal already spent with the addition of Liriano?


This trade is worthless- notice, i said worthless, not terrible. Worthless in the sense that it does nothing to make us a better team. There is probably a 50% chance that will will be no worse because of it, very little chance we will be better…….lets say 10%, and 40% it makes us worse. Money saved doesn’t equal more wins, and years of control doesn’t equal more wins, so who cares. I agree with another commenter here who stated this doesn’t add any talent at our areas of need, and i agree 100%. If we are going to Trade Hanrahan and Holt………why can’t we at least get a AA or AAA B level SS prospect for him? We have no room for AAAA first baseman and corner outfielders, and as far as trading them goes…..they have no value. I agree with the thinking of it being like Jeff Clement or Brandon Moss………Jerry Sands and Cliff Robinson Reek of those similar players. We HAVE tried to replace Jones with 4 different players in 3 years, and he still keeps out producing everyone, EVEN in his less than stellar 2010 and 2011 seasons. Trade Sanchez…Trade Tabata, throw in Presley. Get a shortstop prospect get a third base prospect for when Alvarez leaves in 3 years, get a catcher to take over after Martin is gone…..either get pieces we need, or don’t make the trades. That is all

Mark Busch

Given the timing of this trade (shortly after acquiring Liriano) and the money saved (around $6.5 M, virtually the same amount that Liriano is getting), I think it is very likely that the FO got the OK from ownership to sign Liriano only if they traded Hammer.

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