Detroit Tigers: Relief Pitcher Joel Hanrahan Coming Back To The Motor City


For someone who hasn’t thrown a single pitch in a major league baseball game since May 6, 2013, the Detroit Tigers are hoping that he can make an impact in the bullpen next season.

Joel Hanrahan, the former reliever for the Pittsburgh Pirates, has agreed to a minor league deal worth $1 million and another $2.5 million in incentives.

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Despite signing a one-year contract with the Tigers last year, Hanrahan did not appear in the regular season or playoffs, as he struggled to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Team president Dave Dombrowski told the local media on Friday that the deal will include a major league invite and feels that Hanrahan can be a great asset in their bullpen. He also said that Hanrahan should be throwing on December 1st.

"“We have re-signed Joel Hanrahan, which is great for us,” Dombrowski said ( via Detroit Free Press). “It’s an additional guy in our bullpen. We signed him to a minor-league contract with a big league invite. I talked to him on the phone yesterday. He’s in a position where he feels great, but of course he’s not throwing at this time. But Dr. (James) Andrews) said he’s healed, he should be ready to go.”"

According to Dombrowski, Hanrahan received offers from other ball clubs, so the signing was based out of loyalty. So considering that he was garnering interest from teams that are willing to take a chance on the 33-year old, it was an acquisition that was vital to the Tigers chances of capturing a World Series in 2015.

When healthy, Hanrahan has been lights out as a closer and reliever during his tenure with the Pirates. Appearing in two All-Star games, Hanrahan recorded 82 saves and 10 saves in four seasons with the Pirates. In 229.1 innings pitched and 238 appearances, the Iowa native had a 2.59 ERA and 265 strikeouts.

Already equipped with the likes of Joakim Soria, Al Albuquerque and Joe Nathan, having a veteran pitcher that can be be slotted in the seventh or eighth inning could drastically help fix the problems of the bullpen.

"“We’re hopeful he’ll be able to help us next year, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Dombrowski said (via Detroit Free Press)."