Just a few moments ago, it was announced that Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski had scheduled a conference for noon, without giving the details of the conference. Well, we now know why. The Detroit Tigers have reached an agreement with free agent pitcher Joel Hanrahan, sources tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Hanrahan’s deal is a one-year deal with a base salary of $1 million, as he can earn up to $3 million total after incentives, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The team announced the deal today in a press conference.
The World Series favorites have struggled out of the bullpen so far, so Hanrahan will represent a chance at a major improvement. He is likely to be their new set-up man, with Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque struggling as of late and Bruce Rondon out for the season with an elbow injury. This is along with the struggles of newly-signed relievers Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain. Detroit’s bullpen currently has one of the worst collective ERAs in the major leagues.
Hanrahan threw well for about twenty teams a couple weeks ago and is almost exactly a year removed from his Tommy John surgery, which has been very common this season. According to those in attendance Hanrahan was sitting in the low-90s with his fastball during his showcase a few weeks ago, and was likely to be ready to return to the majors in June. His surgery was performed last May by the infamous Dr. James Andrews.
Hanrahan pitched in only nine games last season in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He sported a 9.82 ERA over more than seven innings of work. In 2012, he threw in sixty-three games and compiled an ERA of 2.72 while recording thirty-six saves. The previous season in 2011, he had forty saves and an 1.83 ERA.