Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Rumors: Joel Hanrahan to Red Sox for Bryce Bentz, Henry Owens?

The Boston Red Sox and rumors surrounding a deal to acquire Joel Hanrahan are getting hot.   We heard late this week that the Red Sox top target after acquiring all of their other needs was to focus on Hanranator.

The Sox have added everything but bullpen help this offseason as their roster got a nearly complete overhaul. The Red Sox had Andrew Bailey working as their closer, it seems if this rumor has legs that their confidence in him is waning, or they simply can’t shake their fascination with Hanrahan.

But is a deal forthcoming or is it still smoke?   Moments after providing the names of two Red Sox prospects, Jim Bowden tweeted that trade talks aren’t close enough to give names.  So is a deal that imminent?

We think it has to be getting close.   The two clubs have a common demoninator at the GM position with Huntington and Cherington having a pretty tight relationship.

Before the Pirates picked up left-hander Francisco Liriano, another left hander from Boston was being tossed around.  The rumor mentioned the name of Felix Doubront being what the Pirates might want, but that could be a deal-breaker according to a ML source. Doubront would be a nice get for the Bucs, but it will certainly take more than Hanrahan to get the controllable southpaw. The 24-year old Venezulean has always struckout batters, walked very few, and battled injuries.

It was thought that 6’2″ Doubront was out of shape during his career in the minors, but presumably after getting into shape, Doubront came out strong in 2012 and shocked reporters who felt he was the best Red Sox pitcher last year. Doubront tweeked mechanics and delivery during the season. The Sox shut him down for nearly three weeks in August with a right knee contusion. He came back strong.

His 28th start against the playoff bound Baltimore Orioles was a thing of beauty.

“Everybody’s always said he’s going to be good, he’s going to be special,” Clay Buchholz said. “When you’re throwing 95 from the left side with movement, along with all the other pitches he throws, whenever he’s on, his stuff is pretty close to unhittable. As far as next year, you can look at him, like he did today, and know he’s going to be good.”

But today the heat really turned up.

A ton of tweets are flying around on the topic.  So I cherry picked the one I liked the best, let’s trust somehow that one from Jim Bowden might tell the tale of who could be included.   We also left out Iglesias since we have beeen reading he won’t be in the deal after Cherington said he would start everyday at short.

Bryce Bentz is ranked as the #12 prospect in the Red Sox organization by FanGraphs:

He hasn’t shown it in his professional numbers to date – in terms of massive home run numbers – but Brentz possesses impressive raw power and could be Boston’s right-fielder of the (near) future. A scout I spoke with said, “Bryce has an extremely fast barrel and is capable of getting to his power anywhere in the zone.” Like most power hitters, though, the former supplemental first round pick strikes out a lot but his aggressive nature also leads to modest walk rates. The scout I spoke with said Brentz was always a competitive player. “This is an area where his competitiveness maybe working against him. He – like a lot of young players – has to learn to control his effort level and that it is OK to take a walk sometimes.”

Brentz is a decent hitter who is not a dead pull hitter but he still struggles with breaking balls. His batting averages in the minors have been buoyed by high – and likely unsustainable – BABIP rates; when he reaches the majors expect his average to be more in the .250-.270 range.

Henry Owens is ranked  number six with some serious strikeout numbers (11.1K/9) but also control challenges (4.16BB/9):

The 36th overall selection during the 2011 amateur draft, Owens did not officially pick up a baseball until 2012 when the organization gave the 19-year-old hurler an aggressive assignment to full-season A-ball. The southpaw responded with a solid season that included 130 strikeouts in 101.2 innings of work.

Owens, now 20, showed signs of tiring late in the year and elevated the ball a lot in August, resulting in very high fly-ball rates — although the 6’6” lefty was always more of a fly-ball pitcher. He needs to learn to leverage his height and get a better downward angle on his pitches to induce more ground-ball outs.

Having seen Owens’ final start of the 2012 season, it’s safe to say he was not at his best. The left-hander I did see was 91-93 MPH, touching 94 with an upper-60s curveball and changeup. While I was impressed with his fastball movement and late breaking curveball, it’s impossible to not wonder if such a slow off-speed pitch is a legitimate offering or trickery. (Mike Newman)

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates

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