Not much occurred in the baseball world on Boxing Day (by the way, we should really celebrate that here in the US) aside from a trade between the Pirates and Red Sox. The Pirates sent closer Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt to the Red Sox for relief pitcher Mark Melancon, first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, utility man Ivan DeJesus, Jr., and pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel. After the Red Sox’s problems getting oft injured Andrew Bailey on the mound last year, Hanrahan provides them with a solution at closer with a better health history. And while Holt does not have DeJesus’ name recognition, at least some appear to believe that Holt has a better shot at being a useful Major Leaguer due to DeJesus’ limited offensive skills.
The return for the Pirates here was not that great. Pimentel has a pretty high ceiling, but a high level of uncertainty regarding ever reaching it. Melancon is a solid Major League reliever, but not a top tier one. Sands and DeJesus are bench players at best.
But what does this trade have to do with the Cubs? Because the Cubs are reportedly trying to trade Carlos Marmol, this could be a reference point, and not a particularly promising one. With that said, there will likely be significant contrasts in a Marmol trade that should point in the Cubs’ favor.
First, Hanrahan is likely to make about $7 million this year, and the Pirates have to be a lot more cost conscious than the Cubs do. As a result, the Cubs would likely be a lot more willing to eat a big portion of Marmol’s salary, potentially up to $7-8 million of Marmol’s $9.8 million 2013 salary.
Second, while the Pirates took quantity in return for Hanrahan, the Cubs are more likely to be looking for one good prospect in return. So hopefully the Cubs can at least get a more impressive looking return for Marmol, should they trade the closer, than the Pirates received from Hanrahan.
In other news, President George H.W. Bush is reportedly in intensive care. Whatever your feelings towards any president, party or their policies, respect for the office and remembering that politicians are human beings is important. I wish him a speedy recovery.