The Pittsburgh Pirates today acquired right-handed pitcher Mark Melancon (pronounced “muh-LAN-suhn”), outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands, right-handed pitcher Stolmy Pimentel and infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.
“While acknowledging that trading Joel Hanrahan was a difficult decision, we are pleased that the direct result will be the addition of three players who will very likely impact our major league club this season plus a pitcher who will add to our deep and talented pitching prospect base,” said Huntington.
The 27-year-old Melancon made 41 appearances with the Red Sox in 2012 and went 0-2 with one save and a 6.20 ERA (45.0ip/31er). He also appeared in 21 games with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he posted 11 saves and a 0.83 ERA (21.2ip/2er) in 21 relief appearances. Melancon spent the entire 2011 season with the Houston Astros and went 8-4 with 20 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 71 appearances during his first full year in the Majors.
Melancon was selected by the Yankees in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and made his big league debut with New York in 2009. In his four Major League seasons, Melancon has gone 10-7 with 21 saves and a 4.07 ERA (157.0ip/71er/139so) in 147 relief appearances.
“Mark Melancon has been a quality major league reliever with closing experience who displays key subjective and objective indicators as a candidate to bounce back from a challenging 2012 season,” said Huntington. “Similar to when we acquired Joel Hanrahan, our scouts saw a quality pitch package that was not accurately reflected by his present level of performance. Mark will be a solid addition to our bullpen.”
The right-handed hitting Sands, 25, spent a majority of the 2012 campaign in the Dodgers farm system with Triple-A Albuquerque and was selected to the Pacific Coast League post-season All-Star team after hitting .296 (134-for-452) with 26 home runs and 107 RBI in 119 games. He also appeared in nine games with Los Angeles and went 4-for-23 with an RBI. The Red Sox acquired Sands on October 4 to complete the Adrian Gonzalez deal from August.
Sands, who was Los Angeles’ Minor League Player-of-the-Year in 2010 after hitting .301 with 35 home runs and 93 RBI in 137 games, made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 2011 and hit .253 (50-for-198) with four homers and 26 RBI in 61 games. Also in 2011, he batted .278 with 29 home runs and 88 RBI in 94 games with Albuquerque. In 469 career minor league games, Sands has produced a .289 batting average, 119 home runs and 379 RBI.
“Jerry Sands has impressed our scouts with his well-rounded tools package, highlighted by his ability to command the strike zone as a hitter and drive the ball for extra base hit potential,” said Huntington. “Additionally, his defensive versatility will increase his opportunity to contribute to our major league club in the near term as well as in the years to come.”
Pimentel, 22, went 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA (115.2ip/59er) in 22 starts with Double-A Portland in 2012. The Dominican native was signed by the Red Sox on July 2, 2006, and has spent the last six seasons in the Boston farm system. Prior to the 2012 season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 10 pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization. He was also a 2007 Dominican Summer League All-Star, a 2008 New York-Penn League All-Star and a 2010 MLB Futures Game All-Star.
“Stolmy Pimentel is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher with a quality pitch package as well as several other traits of major league starting pitchers,” said Huntington. “We believe we can help Stolmy reach his potential as a quality major league pitcher.”
The 25-year-old DeJesus Jr. spent a majority of the 2012 season with Albuquerque, where he hit .295 in 60 games. He also batted .273 (9-for-33) in 23 games with the Dodgers before being acquired by Boston in the Gonzalez deal. DeJesus Jr. hit .385 (10-for-26) in seven games with Triple-A Pawtucket and went hitless in eight at bats with Boston.
DeJesus Jr., the son of former big league shortstop Ivan DeJesus, was selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and was the organization’s minor league Player-of-the-Year in 2008. He has produced a .298 batting average in 729 career minor league games while playing primarily shortstop and second base.
“Ivan DeJesus is a versatile and reliable defender who can handle the bat and will compete to make our major league club in an extra infielder role,” said Huntington.
Melancon, Sands and Pimentel have been added to Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster. The Pirates will make a corresponding roster move later today.