Former Red Sox Top Pitching Prospect Craig Hansen Released by Pittsburgh Pirates

Former Red Sox Top Pitching Prospect Craig Hansen Released by Pittsburgh PiratesThe Pittsburgh Pirates have nearly completely washed their hands of the Jason Bay trade.

The club released former Red Sox top pitching prospect Craig Hansen on Wednesday, according to Piratesprospects.com.

Hansen's release leaves minor league RHP Bryan Morris as the organization's only remaining player from the Jason Bay trade that was supposed to restock the organization with promising young talent. Brandon Moss (former Boston prospect) and Andy LaRoche (former Dodger top prospect) have already been released.

Hansen, who was the key piece relinquished by the Sox to acquire Bay, was once tabbed the prospect closest to reaching the major-leagues in the 2005 draft by Baseball America.

The 2005 Big East Conference Pitcher of the Year appeared in 21 games for the Pirates, posting a 6.95 ERA with a 2:1 walk to strikeout ratio, before being diagnosed with a rare nerve injury in the spring of 2009 that weakened the muscles in his right arm, dropping his fastball velocity from 95-97 mph to 88-89 mph.

The right-hander appeared in just 12 minor league games for Pittsburgh in 2010. 

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