"crimes involving moral turpitude" are strictly prohibited from receiving a visa. Urbina may want to jumpstart his baseball career again, but it appears that won’t be happening in the majors.
***The Red Sox finalized a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that brings closer Joel Hanrahan to Beantown. In addition to maligned reliever Mark Melancon, Boston sent back several non-premium prospects to complete the deal.
With Andrew Bailey under contract, the addition of Hanrahan seems a bit redundant. With a fastball that has averaged nearly 96 mph for his career, there is no doubt that Hanrahan is one of the most powerful pitchers in baseball. His acquisition is another in a long line of non-star additions Boston GM Ben Cherington has made this offseason. Even though he is one season away from free agency, the relative pittance Boston paid for his services to be their closer in 2013 justifies the move.
***Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski signed a one-year contract worth $7.5 million with the Texas Rangers. In many ways the deal may be disappointing to both sides.
Pierzynski is coming off a career year, where he hit .278 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI. However, he just turned 36, which is a precarious age for catchers. It also has to be more than a little galling to him that instead of reaping a large payday from his impressive 2012 season, he will likely finish out his career on one-year deals. Heck, even Russell Martin, who has hit a combined .224 over the past two seasons, was able to score a two-year, $17 million deal earlier this offseason.
Under normal circumstances the Rangers would be happy to add a player of Pierzynski’s caliber, but since he represents their most significant acquisition this offseason, his signing has to be tinged with disappointment. Not only did Texas allow star outfielder Josh Hamilton to sign with their division rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, but they were also unable to land Zack Greinke, the top available starting pitcher this, who instead went to the Dodgers. As things stand today, there is little doubt that Texas has lost a lot of ground in the AL that can’t simply be made up by their new catcher.
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