Good Afternoon Cardinal Nation,
Here’s what I have for you today:
— The Joel Hanrahan deal is finally complete as the Pittsburgh Pirates dealt their two-time All-Star to the Boston Red Sox along with infielder Brock Holt. In return, the Pirates are getting reliever Mark Melancon, pitcher Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands. As reported earlier, Jason Grilli will be the closer for the Pirates in 2013.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it’s not entirely clear to me what the Pirates’ plan is for 2013. It looks like they’re trying to make the best of what they can with their small budget. It just looks like they’re in this strange mode of rebuilding and trying to form a winning team at the same time. What was the point of shelling nearly $20 million out for Russell Martin and then dealing their top reliever? I know they made the Francisco Liriano deal, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a difference maker either. Seems a little confusing to me, but maybe there’s something that the public isn’t aware of.
— Jenifer Langosch gives her top five Cardinals stories from 2012, most notably the fact that despite all of the changes the Cardinals made last offseason (TLR, Pujols, Duncan…), they kept on their winning ways.
I think this list is pretty accurate, but here’s one story that should have honorable mention: Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica were stars for the Cardinals in the second half, and I personally do not think they would have gotten to the postseason without them. Boggs finished with a 2.21 ERA, while Mujica finished with a 1.03 ERA (not including time spent with the Miami Marlins)
— Viva El Birdos makes the case for why Sam Gaviglio should be considered a top prospect.
In 23 starts for the Class-A Midwest League, Gaviglio went 9-9 with a 3.92 ERA over 133 innings pitched. He certainly has shown signs of promise, but I think it will still be another year before he is considered for the Major League club, since there are so many pitching prospects on the rise for the Cardinals.
— Lastly, Jayson Stark gives his true but strange facts from 2012.
My personal favorite has to be the following: The Colorado Rockies racked up the grand total of 27 quality starts — the same number as R.A. Dickey, and the fewest, by far, by an entire team in the live-ball era.