Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
For whatever it's worth, Jim Bowden tweets that the Red Sox's Jerry Sands is reportedly in some sort of trade. That would suggest he's in the deal for Joel Hanrahan, unless the Red Sox are cooking something else up as well. (Forget the picture -- Sands is with the Red Sox now, not the Dodgers.) It's not clear how close the deal is to getting done.
Sands is a somewhat marginal corner outfielder and first baseman. He's posted good minor-league numbers, but he isn't an especially toolsy player, and he's had trouble keeping his mechanics consistent. The Pirates have lots of marginal corner types already, to the point where there's not even room on the current 25-man roster for Clint Robinson, so I'm not entirely sure why the Pirates would want Sands.
UPDATE: Bowden confirms that Hanrahan will be going to the Red Sox, and that Sands is part of the return.
UPDATE: Sands and starting pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel are reportedly in the deal. Pimentel pitched in Class AA last season and wasn't that impressive, striking out 86 batters in 115.2 innings. He might be a back-of-the-rotation guy. I wasn't a big fan of the deal when it only included Sands, and this doesn't help much.
UPDATE: Rob Biertempfel writes that the Pirates are trading Hanrahan and one other player. He doesn't say anything about the Boston side.
UPDATE: Michael Sanserino says the Pirates are getting at least three players.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman says the Bucs will get four players, including Sands and Pimentel. It's possible there's some key piece we haven't heard about yet.
UPDATE: ESPN Boston now says the deal "could" include reliever Mark Melancon, which would definitely improve it. There's a lot of silliness on Twitter right now about Melancon's 6.20 ERA. Guess what, people? ERA is pretty close to being irrelevant for relievers, since it doesn't account for runners inherited and doesn't factor in the performance of the pitchers that follow the pitcher in question. It's not a very good stat even for starters, because it doesn't factor the impact of defense. Melancon's xFIP last year was 3.45. He has a good fastball and gets ground balls and strikeouts.
A few years ago, the Pirates acquired a reliever who had a 7.71 ERA, and people screamed about it. Only that pitcher's ERA was largely the result of an atrocious defense behind him, and his good stuff and peripherals said he'd be fine. He came to the Pirates and immediately became a key part of their bullpen. Anyone want to guess who that pitcher was?