According to a major league source, as first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN (via twitter), the Red Sox and Pirates have reached an agreement on a deal that would bring All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston. The deal, however, is not yet final.
The source confirmed Bowden's report that the Sox will send outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands and right-hander Stolmy Pimentel to Pittsburgh, while adding that there are more players involved in the deal than just those three. The Sox have agreed to send four players to Pittsburgh, with two players coming back to Boston.
Hanrahan was an All-Star closer for the Pirates each of the last two seasons, recording 76 saves while punching out a batter an inning and walking 3.6 batters per nine innings -- though it's worth noting that his walk rate spiked from 2.1 per nine in 2011 to 5.4 in 2012. He features an at-times dominant mix of a mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider.
According to Bowden, both right-hander Stolmy Pimentel and outfielder first baseman Jerry Sands are involved in the potential deal. Pimentel was actually targeted by the Pirates in 2008, who hoped to acquire him as part of the potential three-way deal with the Dodgers and Red Sox that resulted in Manny Ramirez going to LA and Jason Bay coming to Pittsburgh, but the Sox refused to include the hard-throwing right-hander. (More on that here.)
Pimentel went 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA in 115 2/3 innings spanning 22 starts with Double-A Portland in 2012. He struck out 6.7 and walked 3.3 batters per nine innings, while showing considerable improvement from a disastrous 2011 season in which he went 6-13 with a 6.79 ERA while getting demoted from Double-A to High-A.
Sands, acquired from the Dodgers in the August blockbuster, hit .296/.375/.524/.900 with 26 homers and 107 RBI in 119 games for Triple-A Albuquerque in 2012. Early in the offseason, given that he could play at two positions that featured vacancies on the 2013 Red Sox, it appeared Sands could play an interesting role for the Sox next season. However, with the addition of Jonny Gomes in free agency, Sands was relegated to a likely depth option if he wasn't included in a trade.
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