Joel Hanrahan’s value is continuing to rise, and Tom Singer of MLB.com believes the Pittsburgh Pirates closer is a prime candidate to be traded this summer. Singer said that with closers all around the league going down with injuries he expects Hanrahan to become a popular trade chip come deadline time. Hanrahan’s name has been connected to the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels so far this season.
Hanrahan made the All-Star game last season for the Pirates and finished the year with an ERA and WHIP of 1.83 and 1.049. While the right-hander’s been a bit wild so far this season, he’s still only allowed three runs over his first nine innings of work while striking out 12.
Hanrahan’s career ERA and WHIP are 3.89 and 1.402, but he’s been better over his four recent seasons with the Pirates. During that span Hanrahan has posted an ERA and WHIP of 2.57 and 1.175 with 10.6 SO/9 and 3.5 BB/9.
The Pirates and Hanrahan agreed to $4.1 million contract for 2012 and the 30-year-old will be eligible for arbitration once more before hitting the free agent market following the 2013 season.
Several potential contenders have been linked to closers such as Hanrahan. The Angels were said to have interest in Hanrahan as they are reportedly on the hunt for late-inning arms to supplement their shaky bullpen. With Mariano Rivera’s season-ending injury Hanrahan has also had his name tied to the Yankees, and any pitcher deemed potentially available has been tied to the Red Sox.
While a closer is often viewed as a luxury for a non-contending team, the Pirates expectations entering the year as well as the additional wild-card spot now up for grabs could make the club hesitant to part with Hanrahan. With the bevy of closers going down to injury and the lack of superior options available, you’d have to think some team is willing to send the Pirates a few pieces of value in exchange for Hanrahan.
If Pittsburgh continues to stay near the bottom of the National League Central as the trade deadline approaches, you can expect to see Hanrahan’s name a lot this summer.
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