In May the Detroit Tigers won the battle to sign free agent closer Joel Hanrahan. Coming off Tommy John surgery performed in May of 2013, Hanrahan was not ready to pitch when he agreed to sign a one-year, $1 million contract with Detroit. At he time of the signing, worth up to $3 million if Hanrahan reached certain incentives, it was hoped the two-time All-Star would help to shore up an already shaky Tigers' bullpen post All-Star break.
Once he joined the Tigers, Hanrahan headed to Lakeland for more rehab with the hope he would be ready in 6-to-8 weeks. That timetable has proven to be far too ambitious.
After numerous setbacks in rehab, the most recent this past weekend when Hanrahan was shut down following a bullpen session, the Tigers have accepted their inexpensive flyer on the still recovering 32-year-old right-hander is not going to work out. The likelihood Harnahan will pitch for the Tigers in 2014 is almost nil.
During today's teleconference to officially announce the trade for Texas Rangers' closer Joakim Soria, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski addressed Hanrahan's rehab, stating what has become obvious - he won't be ready anytime soon.
"We’re not counting on him at all," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday. "There’s still going to be another medical check being done, but I would say right now, it’s highly unlikely he would be able to pitch for us this year."
The Tigers haven't completely closed the door on Hanrahan's return, as the team is seeking other medical opinions. But Dombrowski again admits Hanrahan's prognosis is far from positive.
"It does not sound encouraging."
With Hanrahan out of the picture for 2014, Dombrowski will reportedly continue his search for another bullpen arm. Preferably, it would be a left-handed reliever considering the struggles and inconsistency of current Detroit lefties Phil Coke and Ian Krol