Friday, November 30, 2012

Reports: Dodgers and Pirates talking Capuano-for-Hanrahan swap

Word broke earlier today from Mark Saxon and Buster Olney of ESPN and Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness that the Dodgers and Pirates have talked about a deal that would send left-hander Chris Capuano to Pittsburgh for right-hander Joel Hanrahan.

This potential deal makes a ton of sense for both sides, but particularly for the Dodgers.

As solid as Capuano was for the Dodgers last season, at least one starting pitcher is going to have to be dealt this offseason to make room for a guy like Zack Greinke or Anibal Sanchez. This would be a step in the right direction.

The term "full circle" comes to mind, as Hanrahan was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2000 MLB Draft. He was once considered a top prospect as a starting pitcher. He even threw two no-hitters in the minors. However, he never made an appearance with the Dodgers before he was granted free agency in 2006.

Hanrahan, despite an odd 2012 campaign in which he gave up eight home runs (he gave up seven in the previous two seasons combined), had a 5.4 walks per nine innings and an ugly 4.45 FIP, he was able to compile a 2.72 ERA, 10.1 strikeouts per nine and 6.0 hits per nine.

Before 2012, he was on he was to elite status. I'm of the belief his 2012 was more of an aberration and his 2010 and 2011 seasons are more the norm.

The 31-year-old will likely earn about $6-$7 million in his final year of arbitration, which is a drop in the bucket to the Dodgers. Capuano is due $7 million guaranteed this season, so the salaries are almost a wash.

The Pirates need help in the rotation while the Dodgers need to free up space in the rotation -- it seems like a good match. If the Dodgers can land an arm such as Harahan for a guy like Capuano, it seems like a no-brainer for me.

While Capuano is a better pitcher than Aaron Harang and more of a sure thing than Ted Lilly, he also holds more trade value on the open market. There's no way a team like the Pirates would want Harang or Lilly for Harahan.

If the Dodgers land him, they'll have an absolutely nasty bullpen. He wouldn't close like he did in Pittsburgh, but it'd be tough to name a better seventh-inning guy than Hanrahan.

Potential bullpen

Ronald Belisario
Scott Elbert (provided his elbow is OK)
Kenley Jansen
Brandon League
Paco Rodriguez

That's not even including guys like Javy Guerra, Shawn Tolleson or whoever else the Dodgers might acquire.

The Dodgers probably won't make this deal until they're sure his spot is upgraded. But it almost seems like a formality at this point. I'm all for it, if and when it happens.

Photo credit: UC International, Wikimedia Commons


  1. Not too shabby...I've always liked Joel and Cap will be able to start for the Bucs

  2. I don't mean to sound like a homer (and fans always overvalue the players they're giving up), but I think that we're trading away more and the Pirates need to throw in something extra. Besides the fact that we are trading a starter for a reliever (although Hanrahan is quite good), somehow Hanrahan is making as much money as Cap, and Hanrahan also only has 1 year of team control. I'm sure if we offered this deal one for one, the Pirates would jump at the chance. That leverage might be able to net us a solid prospect. Dustin, what are your thoughts on Cap for Hanrahan and SP Nick Kingham? Am i being too optimistic by expecting Joel and a prospect?

    1. Or, Harang for Hanrahan straight up as an alternative?

    2. I think Capuano for Hanrahan is a great deal for the Dodgers. I see Capuano as a regression candidate and Hanrahan has an electric arm. To get a player of Hanrahan's quality for Capuano would be quite the deal for the Dodgers.

    3. Don't think Pitt would do it for Harang. He's owed more guaranteed money than Capuano and isn't as good.

  3. Would prefer to kep Harang. God knows why!! Insurance I guess.

  4. MLB Trade Rumors has this potential deal as "unlikely". Could we use Caps and Harang in a package to pick up a third baseman?

  5. We don't need another reliever as much as we do a starter. I'd love to have Hanrahan back as a Dodger, and he's been good as a closer there. But Capuano is more valuable as a spot starter and LH from the pen. We need lefties. There are no guarantees about Lilly and, besides, you never have enough starters.

    A trade for Harang? We might get back a new weight scale for the clubhouse in return. Nothing more.

  6. The Dodgers will be a part of a blockbuster trade.. I'm still not convinced Andre Ethier will be in LA in 2013..

    Possible trade chip with Seattle, Ethier, Gordon, and Lily and minor league pitcher for Felix Hernandez and their young first baseman J.Smoak and a PTL or cash.

    1. Unless the Dodgers are offering Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw, they don't have enough to land Hernandez. Even with all the new prospects it'd be more quantity than quality.

      Seattle has repeatedly said it isn't trading Hernandez and Hernandez has said he prefers to stay. Not sure how this rumor got started, but it needs to end because the Dodgers aren't landing King Felix.

  7. Why Smoak??? Does he play other pos's??? I've always coveted King Felix, but I'm thinking no cigar.

  8. Ethier for Felix? Sounds good to me.

  9. Id like to get stanton out of miami bring him home. Offer ethier paying half his salary. Zach lee. Chris reed. Joc pederson. And since theyre shopping yunel escobar throw in dee gordon.