Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Sands might leave Boston without ever playing a game there
To this point, all we have known is who is not in a trade for Joel Hanrahan. Jim Bowden reported that none of Boston's top prospects were involved, Danny Knobler says it isn't Jose Iglesias, and Alex Speier has said that Felix Doubront would be a deal breaker for the Red Sox. Now, though, between Jon Heyman and Bowden, we've got an idea of one player likely heading to Pittsburgh: outfielder Jerry Sands.
Sands was a player to be named later in the Nick Punto trade, and while he's been a first baseman in the past, his bat and glove are both better fits for left field. While his bat looks great -- he's hit .288/.362/.552 at Triple-A in two years-- his minor-league numbers are inflated a bit at the upper levels thanks to playing in the Pacific Coast League. His power is legitimate, but he has a long swing, and it's a question whether he's a platoon bat or not.
The Pirates could use Sands, though, more so than the Red Sox, who have plenty of outfielders both at Boston and Pawtucket. It makes a lot of sense to send him over for Hanrahan, especially since it would be a swap of 40-man roster spots. It's not getting something for nothing by any means, but it would be the Red Sox sending off something from a position of strength, and without adding to the already crowded 40-man.
This isn't a guarantee, by any means, but dealing Sands might also mean the Red Sox are very confident in finishing up the Mike Napoli negotiations, which have reportedly been held up due to questions about his hip, stemming from his physical.