Pirates Release Craig Hansen

The Pirates announced that they released right-hander Craig Hansen, a former first rounder who was part of the 2008 Jason Bay trade. Pirates Prospects first reported the move.

The 6'6" 27-year-old arrived in Pittsburgh nearly thee years ago, when the Pirates sent Bay to Boston. Hansen appeared in 21 games for the Pirates over the course of two seasons, posting a 6.95 ERA with twice as many walks (24) as strikeouts (12). A rare nerve injury limited Hansen to 12 minor league appearances in 2010 and sidelined him for much of 2009.

Bryan Morris is the lone player from the Bay trade remaining in the Pirates' organization, now that Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche and Hansen have been released. In 133 2/3 minor league innings last year, Morris posted a 3.03 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. For the Pirates to salvage something of value from the Bay trade, Morris will have to provide value in the Major Leagues.

51 Responses to Pirates Release Craig Hansen Leave a Reply

  1. basemonkey 4 years ago

    I remember when the BoSox selecting Hansen was a celebrated move, and predicted him to reach the majors fast. It turns out that that promotion schedule rushed him badly, preventing him from being able to refine his delivery and develop the command away from the prying lights of the majors.

    • JaySchu 4 years ago

      I’m fairly certain that rushing pitchers that grew up in cold weather states normally ends in disaster. Those of us born up here (Hansen is from my hometown) just don’t have the 365 day a year sports schedule available to southerners. Would make an interesting study if it hasn’t been done already.

  2. MaineluvstheSox 4 years ago

    the Sox were concerned with his delivery. He never adjusted. Maybe he can find a coach and work on it.

  3. goner 4 years ago

    I like Bryan Morris’ chances of becoming a good major league starting pitcher, but that’s a lot of pressure (from management and fans alike) when it’s not his fault that the other three players flamed out. Hopefully, he will earn a promotion to AAA by midseason, and compete for a job in the Pirates’ rotation next spring.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      I don’t think anyone would blame Morris over the GM that took that deal in the first place. I still can’t comprehend how the only “prospects” the Sox had to give up in that trade were Craig Hansen, widely regarded as a lost cause mechanically, and Brandon Moss, someone with AAAA outfielder written all over him.

      If David Ortiz becomes a malcontent this year, I can only hope we can ship him out with Josh Reddick and Michael Bowden for an actually useful player.

      • wickedkevin 4 years ago

        Michael Bowden, Josh Reddick for Andrew McCutchen 😉

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          Works for me. I figure it’s fair considering Ortiz is worse than Manny, but Bowden beats Hansen.

          Garbage trade proposals like this wouldn’t exist if teams like the Pirates didn’t continue to accept garbage for their players.

          • goner 4 years ago

            “Continue”? When was the most recent one?

            Bay was Huntington’s biggest trade chip, and the major league results of that trade have indeed been underwhelming thus far. But I’d guess that the Yankees would like a do-over for the Nady/Marte trade.

          • arthur3 4 years ago

            And what did the Red Sox get for Jason Bay? Oh yeah, they were able to get a supplemental draft pick who might be as “major league ready” as Craig Hansen. The Sox really pulled a fast one in that deal!!

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            They got about six outs away from the World Series which is substantially more than the Pirates got out of Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss.

          • arthur3 4 years ago

            Who remembers (nor cares) about teams that almost played in the World Series? That’s the same as saying someone almost scored a basket in a basketball game, would have hit a home run if they didn’t strike out, or would have won one more World Series if your grandmother was playing first base instead of Buckner. Take it for what it’s worth, the Sox walked away no better off than the hapless Pirates…. maybe worse…. I think most GM’s would prefer Bryan Morris over a supplemental pick in the draft (the remnants of the Jason Bay trade for both teams).

          • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

            The sox got a year and a half of great production from Bay whereas Manny blew up as expecteed in LA for 45 million and Pitt got junk! Sox are big winners in this deal!

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            ” I think most GM’s would prefer Bryan Morris over a supplemental pick in the draft (the remnants of the Jason Bay trade for both teams).”

            I don’t know about that. BA ranked Anthony Ranaudo (The Red Sox supplemental pick for Jason Bay) at 67 on the top 100 whereas Bryan Morris didn’t rank at all.

            So yeah, I doubt any GM would take Morris over that supplemental pick.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Congratulations. You paid Jason Bay more than the Pirates did not to win anything.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Considering they haven’t sniffed .500 in about two decades, I can understand that Pirates fans may have forgotten this, but getting as far as game 7 of the LCS is actually a pretty big deal to most fanbases.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            No, I’m with you. I’m sure 20 years from now, people will still be talking about how the Red Sox lost a playoff series in 2008. Good times.

            Kind of like the way everybody remembers the Detroit Tigers losing the ALCS in 1987. Who can forget that? They made a trade that year too. They acquired Doyle Alexander from the Braves for a prospect. Alexander went 9-0 in 11 starts with a 1.53 ERA, led the Tigers into the playoffs where they managed to lose the ALCS. A fantastic trade by your standards.

            While nobody really remembers the prospect the Braves got – John Smoltz, or something weird like that – everybody still talks about how the Tigers ALMOST got to the World Series in 1987.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Did you seriously just favorably compare Craig Hansen and Branden Moss, two players who were subsequently released by the worst professional sports team of the last two decades, to John freakin’ Smoltz?!

            I’m sorry, but you’re talking apples to oranges here. The Sox shed two pieces that were never going to amount to much (And obviously still haven’t done anything of worth) and got back an impact player. Sure, they didn’t win the World Series, but to operate under the delusion that they weren’t better off than the Pirates after that trade is simply ludicrous and at least a little funny in a “oh my god, is he really that nuts” sense of the word.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            No, you don’t understand. The Braves didn’t finish .500 that year. The Tigers lost a playoff series. That’s a huge win for the Tigers!

            The point is, it’s awfully stupid to sit here and pound your chest about how wonderful it is to lose a playoff series. The outcome of the trade? The Red Sox lost in the playoffs. The Dodgers lost in the playoffs. The Pirates got a good pitching prospect – currently #5 in their farm system – that could contribute for the Pirates over the next 5 or 6 years at least. Somehow, that makes the Red Sox the big winner.

            Like I said, the only player involved in that trade that I want on my team right now is in the Pirates system. …but hey, at least you’ll always have that ALCS that you lost to hang your hat on.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            To put the relevance of the Pirates’ most recent success into perspective: the last time they made the World Series, Jamie Moyer was in High School. Going forward the average player for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season has never seen a Pirates WS game, because their average age is 27.6. Very soon, there will be MLB players who have never, in their lifetimes, seen the Pirates make the playoffs or even finish over .500. That is how irrelevant referencing the Pirates WS accomplishments in comparrison to just about any other team is.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            …and that’s relevant to this trade how, exactly? Nice try at a rationalization, but still all you have to show for that trade is failure in the playoffs.

            …or were you really trying to make the argument that the Pirates had a losing season in 1995 because they traded Jason Bay in 2008?

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            So, to sum up, six years from now, when the Pirates STILL have yet to win a World Series and, in all likelihood have yet to finish with a winning record and Morris has hit free agency and/or long since been traded off to a contender, the Pirates will have officially lost that trade because they didn’t ride Morris to a world championship?

            Because that is essentially what you’re saying. World series or bust and all that.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Essentially, what you’re saying is that you’re Miss Cleo? I guess if you can’t win an argument, you can always just make one up.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            It takes about as much clairvoyance to anticipate the Pirates’ continued irrelevance as it does to predict that water will likely remain wet for the foreseeable future. They have finished sub .500 for almost 20 years running and their farm system is STILL concensus bottom fifteen in the game. The only team I can think of in the entire MLB who look more hopeless than the Pirates right now is the Mets and that’s entirely open for debate considering they’re a firesale away from rebuilding their farm system somewhat.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Seems like if you were going to pull out the crystal ball, you should try to learn something useful. Like how to beat the Indians.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            The answer to that is clearly “pitch competently,” the Red Sox’s inability to do so thus far doesn’t make the Pirates a well run team, however, sorry.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Still not 100% how your wild guesses about the future and complaints about the Pirates past management and ownership has anything to do with the Jason Bay trade – but other than that, solid points. Meanwhile, I’ll just look forward to watching Morris progress throughout his career and leave you to reminisce about the glory days of losing to Tampa Bay in the playoffs.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Call me crazy, but I’d rather be remeniscing about that last deep playoff run a few years ago than reminiscing about that last time my team didn’t stink out loud for decades at a time. Then again, I guess I just have a better appreciation of the little things…

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “Still not 100% how your wild guesses about the future and complaints about the Pirates past management and ownership has anything to do with the Jason Bay trade”

            Also, if you can’t see how complaints about Pirates management relates to a trade made by said management are related, then there’s no helping you.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Yet here you are going on about history lessons 20 years old, while this current ownership and management team has been in place since 2007. Again, I’d like you to explain why you feel the Jason Bay trade had an impact on the losing seasons the Pirates had in the 90s…You know – since that’s what you want to keep talking about.

            Somewhere along the line, you gave up on even trying to argue the trade itself – and just tried to turn the argument into, “Well…yeah…but the Pirates lost a bunch of games 15 years ago.” Like I said, if you can’t win the argument, just make another one up.

            You say it doesn’t matter that the Pirates got a good prospect out of this trade because the Pirates were really bad in the 90s, and the prospect will probably be really bad in 2017. THAT’S your argument. Trust me, I don’t need any help from you.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            The relevance of dating back twenty years is that it’s been a consistent circumstance. The Pirates have been bad for 20 years and show absolutely no signs of not being bad in the near future.

            I say the Pirates trade was bad because, of the four prospects they got for Jason Bay, only one of them turned out to be a potentially viable major leaguer, but the jury’s still out on that as he’s 24 now and still in AA and pitching to merely league average numbers there. And he may be the Pirates’ number five prospect, but in a farm system in the bottom fifteen of the league, that’s a variable in terms of quality. As is, I can’t seem to find him on any top 100 prospects lists.

            So the basic point I’m making is:

            The Dodgers got one of the best right handed hitters of the last twenty years, one who led them to the playoffs.
            The Red Sox got Jason Bay, a well above average hitter who helped the Sox get to the playoffs.
            The Pirates got four prospects, three of which were complete busts (Two of whom were busts before the trade even went down) and one prospect who, by all accounts, has a ceiling of maybe three or four starter another year or two down the road.

            There is no logical way to conclude that the Pirates came out ahead in this trade. By your conclusion, Manny and Bay were useless to the Dodgers and Sox. Based off of recent trends combined with their current projected capabilities going forward based upon having a low revenue stream and a below average farm system, it’s highly unlikely Morris will help the Pirates to the playoffs.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            So based on your lack of knowledge of the Pirates organization, the trade is a failure for the Pirates. Good call.

          • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

            How was this trade bad the day it was made. It got rushed at the last minute of the deadline, and Joe Kerrigan told the front office that he could help Craig Hansen. However, Kerrigan was a douche and is now gone.

            Laroche had no power, but at the time, he was ranked as one of the best prospects in baseball and the Red Sox never trade any of their good pitching prospects.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “How was this trade bad the day it was made”

            Based off the fact that 50% of the players they got back for what was, at the time, probably their most valuable trade chip were already known to be garbage. Farrel was widely considered one of the better pitching coaches in the MLB. I don’t think Duncan could’ve fixed Craig Hansen.

            My opinion of the Bay trade is that I have to believe the Pirates could’ve gotten more value out of it from the Red Sox than two guys that no one outside of Peter Gammons thought were going to produce anything at the major league level.

          • arthur3 4 years ago

            Yep, Pirates have been pretty bad for the past 40 years, but at least they have 2 World Series rings to show for it. This is the same number of World Series wins as the Sox. It is pretty pathetic that you r Sox can afford to be one of the biggest spenders in all of baseball, and contribute heavily to pay for the Pittsburgh , Tampa Bay and others so generously through revenue sharing. At least the Yanks spend the ridiculous amounts of money to pave their ways to World Series championships. The Sox are happy to “being two outs away” from playing in a World Series. And they call the Pirates hapless…

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            To paraphrase a well spoken turn of phrase from a great baseball historian:

            “Yep, Pirates have been pretty bad for the past 40 years, but at least they have 2 World Series rings to show for it. This is the same number of World Series wins as the Sox.”

            ‘That’s like taking credit for the revolutionary war.’

            If you want to play that idiotic game, I should note to you that the Red Sox have won more World Series total than the Pirates. If you wanna respond to that with “buh buh 86 years lawlercoaster” (Which I have no doubt you intended to, you seem like one of those guys), I should note that that a World Series from 1918 is about as relevant to modern situations as the Pirates’ latest win back in ’79. When’s the last time they finished over .500, much less even sniffed the playoffs?

          • arthur3 4 years ago

            Sad, but the Pirates don’t have the money to buy a World Series, and the Sox don’t have the good sense to buy one.

          • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

            The Red Sox were employing Sabremetricians while the Pirates ex GM Dave Littlefield was still giving 3yrs/33 million to Jeremy Burnitz (AHHH!!!) and drafting Daniel Moskos over Matt Wieters.

          • Todd Smith 4 years ago

            Aye. Like that time the Red Sox robbed the Pirates blind by getting Jeff Suppan, and only had to give up Freddy Sanchez.

      • piratesbaseball46 4 years ago

        the Redsox also had to give up Manny to get Jason Bay

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          Irrelevant. The Sox likely would’ve given up Manny to anyone who’d take on the rest of his contract. It was no secret that the Sox absolutely had to get rid of him to anyone who’d take him off their hands. The fact that they managed to get rid of him, not eat any salary AND get a useful replacement in Jason Bay is the textbook definition of a fleecing considering the well publicized circumstances surrounding that trade. Morris and Laroche had potential to them, but the Pirates really should’ve held out for more from the Red Sox in exchange for Bay.

          • woadude 4 years ago

            Except the Red Sox paid the Dodgers to take him so they could throw Laroche to Pittsburg to complete the Bay deal, the Dodgers were the biggest winners in that trade, they were paid to have Manny in their line up, and then they lost when they resigned him to two years too many.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Hm. Seems I forgot that we paid the remainder of his salary.

      • Fangaffes 4 years ago

        Clearly scouts are too much of an expense for the Pirates ownership.

  4. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    Man that Jason Bay trade was a steal.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      Steal is an understatement. Short of the Carter/Wagner swap, this may have been Epstein’s best trade.

      • piratesbaseball46 4 years ago

        the Dodgers were getting the most (Manny) so they had to give up the most, Andy LaRoche a top prospect at third base, and Bryan Morris

    • Todd Smith 4 years ago

      Yet right now – the only player I would want at all that was involved in that trade is Bryan Morris.

  5. Bucs 4 years ago

    What makes this trade even worse is that the Indians offered Cliff Lee (coming off a bad year) Franklin Guttierez and a catcher (shoppach maybe?) for Bay. On the record Neal Huntington has said there was a better offer on the table than the trade he made. I always assumed it was this one.

    • bigpat 4 years ago

      Yeah, that was very disappointing but Lee was coming off a horrid season and it was very hard to predict that he would turn into a strike throwing cyborg monster. This just goes to show the type of luck the Pirates had over the years when it comes to prospects and trades.

      Oddly enough, it seems they’ve received their best returns on their weakest players. Guys like Nady, Marte, Dotel, Morgan, etc, meanwhile the better players like Bay and McLouth had rather underwhelming returns.

      Also, regarding the Jason Bay deal, I remember hearing Tampa was in trade talks and I think Niemann and Brignac were involved. Neither are big difference makers, but Brignac would be a starting quality shortstop and a pitcher like Niemann won’t hurt you.

  6. Abraham Zapruder 4 years ago

    I remember Peter Gammons slobbering all over Hansen when the Sox picked him. Gammons also hyped up Larry Wimberly when the Sox got him from the Phillies. Gammons is not a credible, unbiased source for any Bosox news.

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Peter Gammons is still on the Lars Anderson and Michael Bowden bandwagon….I mean he probably thinks the Sox can get anyone for those two.

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