After seeing his 2013 season cut short after just nine appearances, free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan held a workout for interested scouts on Thursday in an effort to earn himself a contract for the remainder of the 2014 season. Hanrahan threw just 7.1 IP during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox following a trade the previous winter, posting a 9.82 ERA and 2.182 WHIP before needing to be undergo Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries.
Adding an experienced bullpen arm is something that nearly any team in Major League Baseball could potentially look at doing, particularly with the volatility of relief pitching over the course of a long season. Numerous teams are already experiencing concerns at the back of their bullpens, but it’s unclear if any will consider Hanrahan a serious option to potentially close out games for them later this summer. The New York Mets have already lost Bobby Parnell for the season, replacing him with the inconsistent Jose Valverde. The organization is flush with potential internal options, however, so he may not be a logical choice there.
The Oakland Athletics have already pulled Jim Johnson from the closer’s role and Luke Gregerson has since blown two saves stepping in to replace him. Kenley Jansen, Joe Nathan, Ernesto Frieri, Fernando Rodney, Jonathan Papelbon, and others have all struggled in the role early as well.
Many of these teams fall under the same category as the Mets – there are numerous internal options that would likely see an opportunity before Hanrahan would – but the veteran could prove to be another middle relief option for an organization looking to add some depth before the heart of the season arrives.
Initially a 2nd Round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000, Hanrahan has amassed 100 saves during his seven year career with the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 404.2 career innings he’s posted a 3.85 ERA, 1.401 WHIP, and 9.8 K/9. Coming off the injuries there is a chance that a team might be able to get Hanrahan at a reasonable rate for the remainder of the season (he earned $7 Million last year and certainly won’t be seeing an offer in that neighborhood). He’s likely going to be looking more for an opportunity to pitch regularly in order to regain his value before re-entering the free agent market at season’s end. While most of the teams across baseball were reportedly in attendance for this workout, it remains to be seen how many will express a serious interest moving forward.