The Pirates and Red Sox have completed the Joel Hanrahan deal, Ken Rosenthal reports. We still don't know who's in it, but I'm sure we probably will soon.
UPDATE 12:45: Mark Melancon is apparently in the deal, which is excellent.
UPDATE 12:47: The Pirates are sending Hanrahan and Brock Holt to the Red Sox. They will receive Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, Mark Melancon and Ivan DeJesus.
Holt is stretched at shortstop, and I'm not sure how much he'll hit at the major-league level. He also probably wasn't going to make the team out of Spring Training. He's worth something, but I'm not overly concerned about losing him. De Jesus is, in some ways, similar to Holt -- he's a second baseman who has posted good averages in the minors but doesn't have much power at all. Holt and De Jesus were likely included in the deal as a way of balancing out the rest of it -- if you like Melancon as much as I do, the trade was actually probably somewhat skewed toward the Pirates before Holt and De Jesus were included. In any case, De Jesus isn't a key player here -- the Red Sox designated him for assignment a month ago, and no one claimed him.
Anyway, I don't like losing Hanrahan. I also don't think Pimentel is especially valuable, and I'm not totally sure where Sands fits. (Sands may have some upside, and it wouldn't shock me if there were an .850 OPS-type season in there, but I could say the same thing about Travis Snider, with whom Sands will likely share playing time.) But I think Melancon is a terrific acquisition, the kind of reliever who could step into a late-inning role and hold it relatively cheaply for several years, and he and Sands contribute enough value that this trade makes sense for the Pirates. The Bucs also, of course, clear salary in the process, which is surely what motivated this trade, and which is disappointing. But I think Melancon really helps it make some sense from a baseball perspective as well.
Regarding Melancon, I wondered in the previous thread whether the Pirates might have an advantage in trading for players coming off disappointing seasons in big media markets like New York or Boston. The media climate is such that it's probably fairly difficult for those players to bounce back without a change of scenery, and teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are rich enough that they can afford to jettison such players without worrying about it too much. In any case, Melancon's stuff and peripherals make him an excellent rebound candidate, much like A.J. Burnett was last offseason.
Melancon, Sands and Pimentel were on the Red Sox's 40-man roster, while De Jesus was not. Hanrahan and Holt were, of course, both on the Pirates' 40-man roster. The Pirates also need to make space for Francisco Liriano, so two players will have to be cut from their 40-man.
UPDATE 1:10 PM: Neal Huntington explains why he likes Melancon:
Mark Melancon has been a quality major league reliever with closing experience who displays key subjective and objective indicators as a candidate to bounce back from a challenging 2012 season. Similar to when we acquired Joel Hanrahan, our scouts saw a quality pitch package that was not accurately reflected by his present level of performance.
I agree, obviously.