The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Tigers reach $1 million, 1-year deal with reliever Joel Hanrahan, coming off elbow surgery

  • Print

DETROIT - Joel Hanrahan is still working back from elbow surgery for a team eagerly awaiting his return.

The former All-Star agreed to a $1 million, one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, who are hopeful the right-hander can bolster a shaky bullpen when he's ready to pitch again in the majors. Hanrahan had Tommy John surgery last May after nine appearances for the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

He saved 76 games over the previous two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"The one area we wanted to address the most with our ballclub has been our bullpen," general manager Dave Dombrowski said after announcing the deal Friday.

The Tigers put Hanrahan on the 15-day disabled list, saying they will not rush him back to the majors. Hanrahan is expected to throw to hitters next week.

"Right now I feel good. My arm feels good, my body feels good," Hanrahan said. "I'm able to throw a slider again, which I haven't been able to do for a while."

Hanrahan will earn $819,672 of his base salary, or 150-183rds given that he wasn't on the roster until Friday. He can make $2.17 million in bonuses based on time on the active major league roster: $310,000 each for 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90 and 105 days.

"I'm not going to jump to the conclusion that he's going to be 100 per cent just because of the nature of the recovery from these surgeries, but the reports are his velocity has been good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I don't know necessarily back to where he was pre-surgery, but it doesn't mean he won't get back.

"I do know he's battle-tested in late innings," Ausmus added. "He won't be intimidated by a situation, which I think is very important, especially if you work your way into a pennant race by September."

The 32-year-old said Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter — a friend of his — helped recruit him.

Detroit signed veteran Joe Nathan to be the closer in the off-season, but the bullpen was hurt by a season-ending injury to Bruce Rondon. Tigers relievers had a 5.37 ERA entering Friday night's game at Kansas City.

The 6-foot-4 Hanrahan is hesitant to put any timetable on his return.

"I don't think anybody's really saying like, 'You've got to be back on June 1,'" Hanrahan said. "It's kind of a situation where I haven't faced a hitter yet, I haven't bounced back from throwing in a game. It's a situation that, it'll come day by day."

Ausmus also tried to temper expectations that Hanrahan will be able to help soon.

"You're making the assumption that everything is going to go well, and I hope it does," he said, "but there's some T's to cross and I's to dot before I'm ready to say how great this is. But all things equal, I'd rather have him if he's healthy than not have him."

If Hanrahan is healthy and effective, he could end up being one of the team's top right-handed options in the bullpen, along with Nathan. Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain have shown the ability to strike hitters out, but they had ERAs of 4.50 and 4.35 entering Friday.

Hanrahan was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012, and in 2010 he struck out 100 hitters in 69 2-3 innings for the Pirates.

"When anybody comes back from injury that's got an established big league history, we try to watch all of those guys throw whenever we can," Dombrowski said. "We're always looking to upgrade."

___

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google