Saturday, March 12, 2011

Finally, A Rumor!

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors started it off in his chat Wednesday and it's been brought up in blogs galore since: how's a Kevin Slowey for Joel Hanrahan trade sound? The Twins are looking for a power reliever and the Bucs for a rotation stabilizer; they fit the bill.

Well, it makes some sense; Slowey would firm up the back end of the order, making the Morton/Olsen battle moot, providing insurance if Kevin Correia doesn't come around, and probably could step into the Paul Maholm spot if he gets moved. Hanny is future trade bait anyway, with Evan Meek the closer-in-waiting.

Slowey has a $2.7M contract in place for 2011 and two years of arbitration remaining after that, so team control and affordability (compared to Maholm, anyway) isn't an issue. The Upper St. Clair homey is 39-21 over four seasons in the show, with a 4.41 ERA in 473-1/3 frames and a WHIP of 1.282.

He's a fastball (90MPH) pitcher who gets a lot of fly balls (51%), a double edged sword in Pittsburgh - the OF is a surer bet to catch a ball than the IF, but a lefty-loaded line up makes the Clemente Wall a potential problem area, as his career average of 1.4 HR/9 innings is already on the high side, especially with a home field known as a pitcher's park.

The question is most likely Hanny's perceived value. He was lights-out as a set-up man last year, but not so as a closer. Hanrahan has two years of arbitration left, so there's no urgency to move him this early in the season, one in which the Pirates hope he can establish some value as a closer.

The timing of a Hanrahan deal will be based on him being at optimal value; is it now or do they roll the dice on pumping up his market cred for a deadline trade, when GMs typically overpay?

Hey, at least it's something to talk about while the spring games roll endlessly on. Throw another log on that hot stove.


WilliamJPellas said...

If they're considering this deal, they obviously believe they still have serious shorts in the starting pitching dept. I thought MacDonald and Correia were supposed to stabilize things and at least provide reliable average-ness? What in the name of Tommy John Surgery is going on here??? Slowey definitely makes sense for the team, and Meek could probably replace Hanrahan, but our 'pen isn't nearly as deep as it's been in recent years and the front office whiffed this offseason in terms of adding significant reinforcements to the relief corps. Meek has had his own nagging injury problems too, don't forget. I'd be more inclined to hold onto Hanrahan and Meek and throw Rudy Owens into the deep end before I'd make this trade with the Twins.

Ron Ieraci said...

They do have serious shorts in the pitching department, Will. I'm not sure that this deal isn't just a blogger's smoke, but then again, where there's smoke...

The thing that makes it plausible is the FO's disdain of the bullpen and Hanny's age, not that 29 is ancient but by the time Taillon, Heredia, Von Rosenburg and company percolate up, he'll be old news.

Still, from all I've read, the Jays are the team most likely to snag Slowey. But it's interesting; during the winter meetings, I understand Hanny was a popular if undervalued target.