Details on Hanrahan’s contract and timetable

Though the signing of Joel Hanrahan bears similarities to Jose Valverde’s return to Detroit last year, reaching a deal and then working him back to game readiness, there are key differences.

  1. Hanrahan signed a Major League contract, guaranteeing him a $1 million base salary with the potential for another $2 million in incentives.
  2. Instead of starting out on a minor-league contract, Hanrahan was immediately placed on the disabled list, something the Tigers can do with him while coming off Tommy John surgery. Once he’s ready for game work beyond extended Spring Training, the Tigers can place him on a minor-league rehab assignment for up to 20 days.
  3. While Valverde’s deal included an opt-out date Valverde could exercise if he wasn’t called up by a certain date, Hanrahan does not have a set timetable. The rehab assignment rules already put a limit on how long the Tigers can keep him in the minor leagues.

So how much time can we expect Hanrahan to need before getting to Detroit? Nobody’s putting a timetable on it, but judging from the quotes from Hanrahan and his agent, Larry Reynolds, a June return clearly sounds like a goal.

“I don’t think anybody wants to say you have to be back June 1,” Hanrahan said on the conference call announcing the deal. “If I’m ready in 30 days, that’s great. If it takes 40 days, I think we’re all on board.”

Said Reynolds: “I think the history of this is case by case. But optimistically, there’s a timeframe of 5-8 weeks from now. He has to go through a Spring Training scenario. …

“Optimistically, I’d love to see six weeks, but we don’t know. It’s going to be up to Joel and the medical folks.”

What can we expect from Hanrahan when he gets here? That, too, will require some time to find out.

Before Tommy John surgery a year ago, Hanrahan was a power reliever, averaging 96 mph or better on his fastball every season since 2010 according to Fangraphs. That fastball comprised three-quarters or more of his pitch selection the last three years. He also threw a hard slider from 85-87 mph.

When Hanrahan threw for teams a couple weeks ago, his fastball was reportedly around 92-93 in a non-game situation.

“At this point, it’s kind of a day to day thing,” he said on the conference call. “I was happy where my velocity was when I did that show case at 11 months. I think the more I get into a competitive atmosphere, the more it’ll come up. You get that competitive adrenaline going, things pick up a notch or two.”

Meanwhile, he said, “I’m able to throw a slider again, which I haven’t been able to do in a while.”

If he gets back close to where he was, even if he battles some command issues so soon after surgery, that’s a pretty good presence in a setup role. It’s a similar arsenal as Joba Chamberlain, though Chamberlain throws a better slider with usually a slower fastball.

14 Comments

No brainier I think!

Would he share duties with Joba ? Or he takes the 7th?

#Tigers 8th inning ERA of 1.96 thru 23 games did not convince them they didn’t need set up strength – bold Hanrahan move
Tom Gage

does someone get bumped from the 40 man with this signing? if so, who?

Mike Belfiore’s contract was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo to make room on the 40-man roster

thanks, MayoSmith

would be interesting to hear a trainer’s perspective on the progression a pitcher must go through in order to resume live game action during the TJ surgery rehab process.

what kind of an upgrade is he over Romine though? a couple hits a week and a grounder a week that would have been a hit?

A career OPS above 780 plus around 10 HR.

Heyman is that man behind the curtain that you should pay no attention to. Romine is doing fine for now, so this is nothing but speculation.
I’ll go a step further and say that Romine has been a main key to the Tigers early success.

Looks good from the outsside . Hope he can stay healthy and help the club .

Agree Rich. For the team to be doing as well as it has with it’s setbacks, you have to be satisfied. Brad is helping the team find ways to win. Makes it more interesting baseball. In the past few seasons I don’t think you would describe the Tigers as a team that found ways to win. They were expected to win with the power formula. They are still very good. Just not the same offensive scheme; which in my opinion is good. I like Romine. I like Joba too.

torii might have gotten that back in the day

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