With one day of the winter meetings behind us, there wasn't much action on the Pittsburgh Pirate front. In a press conference at the end of the day, Neal Huntington admitted that Joel Hanrahan's probably not as valuable on the trade market now as he was six months ago (this is kind of common sense, of course, though it's not like they could've done anything given their position at the trade deadline last year).
Thus far, the Pirates have really only been linked to non-tendered pitchers (John Lannan, Manny Parra, Tom Gorzelanny, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Pelfrey). It was almost a foregone conclusion that the Pirates would be interested in Pelfrey and Jurrjens since they're talented guys that aren't too old, have had success in the big leagues, have somewhat of a penchant for getting groundballs (Pelfrey more than Jurrjens), and have also battled some pretty serious arm that lead to their non-tenders. The problem, of course, is that both pitchers worked up big inning counts early in their careers and have slowly slid into mediocrity with injuries. Pelfrey's had serious shoulder problems and Jurrjens has had knee problems and lost quite a bit of velocity. I don't think either one is anywhere near a sure thing to contribute in 2012.
In any case, I'll again put updates (if there are any) in this post and any really big news will get a post of its own throughout the day. Maybe today will be more interesting than yesterday, but if Huntington's to be believed, it probably won't be.
I hope we don't get rid of Hanrahan. He does a good job at his job. Think of how many games the last few years we could breath (relatively) easy b/c we knew we could hang onto late inning leads.
The only way the Russell Martin signing makes sense to me is to consider that legitimate big league teams go out and patch holes in the free agency, and that is what we did. If we sign Russell Martin to fill a hole at catcher, and then turn around and open a hole in the bullpen, it makes us look like goofballs instead of a legitimate major league team.
And I don't like the knock on Hanrahan - that he is too expensive, not good enough, etc. Maybe he "should" be paid only about $5 million, or maybe he should be a tick faster on his fast ball. But, what I like is that (1) he is pretty good, (2) we have him, and (3) his price is not unreasonable. Legitimate big league teams keep players like that.
I kinda sorta agree with you here. Whatever Hanrahan gets in or before going to arbitration, it will be more than the Pirates should pay for a closer (and if anyone has proven you can find good bullpen pieces on the cheap, it's the Pirates) but not Papelbon/Rivera money. Still, there's no reason to sell low on Hanrahan, especially if you don't re-sign Grilli. I've read where NH was hesitatnt to trade Hanrahan last year, partly because of the perceived fan reaction; if that's true, then that's a new cautiousness on his part that's a bit disconcerting--he's never been afraid to make deals that the Asylum and their ilk didn't like before, and he can't start grabbing his nuts now. At some point, be it now or in July, someone is going to want to overpay for a closer, and if someone offers the right deal, NH has to take it, no matter where the Bucs are in the standings.