Hanrahan a minor upgrade at minor cost

Updated: December 26, 2012, 5:53 PM ET
By Keith Law

The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a trade with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday featuring closer Joel Hanrahan, but they really should have moved Hanrahan sooner, preferably last offseason, because a Proven Closer™ is a luxury on a below-.500 club and will usually have more value in trade than he can deliver to a bad team over 70 innings. Hanrahan compounded the error of the non-move by having a terrible season, posting his worst walk rate since 2007 while allowing 8 homers in just 59 innings, and he now has just one year of control left but will earn $6-7 million because of the way the arbitration process overvalues saves. That's not a particularly valuable asset to put on the market.