A once promising top prospect for the Atlanta Braves, Tommy Hanson has signed a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers. He will be given an invitation to Spring Training to compete for a starting spot in the rotation. If Hanson can return to his old form from Atlanta, he will fit in perfectly and be just fine.
Hanson was traded last off-season from Atlanta to the Los Angeles Angels for Jordan Walden. What looked like a lopsided trade a year ago paid dividends for the Braves as Hanson’s numbers took a turn for the worse. After winning double-digit games his first 4 years in Atlanta, Hanson struggled to only 4 wins and was bitten by the injury bug as an Angel.
His production has dropped off sharply, but remember, Tommy Hanson is still only 27 years old. There have been players who have been older and worse off come back to claim roster spots, and Hanson could very well re-emerge as a quality starting pitching option.
With a perennial offense that now includes Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, there wouldn’t be much pressure on Hanson should he happen to make the Major League roster. He is only signing a minor league contract with little expectations. Anything at the Major League level beyond Spring Training will be a bonus for both Hanson and Texas.