Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Mark Melancon will be part of Pittsburgh's return from Boston in the increasingly confusing Joel Hanrahan trade.
Mark Melancon will be one of the players headed to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan deal according to Dejan Kovacevic. Assuming this all goes down, the trade will prove an abrupt end to Melancon's time with the Red Sox.
Melancon has certainly earned no rewards in Boston. A disastrous start and an unspectacular middle left Melancon with a massive 6.20 ERA at the end of the year, though he at least showed some better stuff peripherally and come the end of the year.
Still, for all that, giving Melancon a roster spot may have been a bit tough with some of the other guys pressing for a pen role. That would make his inclusion in the trade a lot more understandable if it weren't for the Sox getting Joel Hanrahan in return. If Hanrahan had far superior results in 2012, the Pirates closer posted a 4.45 FIP to Melancon's 4.58, and Melancon has a massive lead in terms of xFIP.
Those peripherals aren't perfect measures by any means, but the point is that right now it seems like the Sox are giving the Pirates a cheap bullpen arm under team control with pretty big question marks for an expensive bullpen arm not under team control also with pretty big question marks. And it's not like the Sox are treating Hanrahan like a dominant closer since they've talked about the need to fix his mechanics.
Judgement must be reserved until the last two names in the deal are revealed, but this trade adds up less and less the more we learn.