Joel Hanrahan
Joel Hanrahan
37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Joel Hanrahan in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed minor league deal (NRI) with Tigers in November 2014, worth $1 million with up to $2.5 million in incentives.
PFree Agent  
Elbow
March 4, 2015
Hanrahan will undergo a second Tommy John surgery, and he has been released by the Tigers, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
ANALYSIS
Previously in camp as a non-roster invitee on a minor league deal, Hanrahan now faces a long recovery and the injury may even prove to be a career-ending one depending on how he progresses through his rehab. Most likely, it will take Hanrahan longer than the typical 12-month minimum to work his way back into game situations again.
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The elbow injury that ended Hanrahan’s 2013 campaign kept him on the sideline for the entirety of 2014 as well. Originally expected to return from Tommy John surgery in mid-2014, Hanrahan was a free agent until he was finally scooped up by the Tigers in early May. The Tigers had hoped to bring Hanrahan along slowly, progressing him through the minors until he was ready to face major-league hitters. Hanrahan threw multiple bullpen sessions, and his fastball reportedly reached 92-93 mph in some workouts, but he eventually suffered a setback and was shut down for the remainder of the season in late July. Despite the struggles to return to the mound last year, the veteran reliever is expected to be ready for spring training, and the Tigers were confident enough to hand him a $1 million contract with incentives to reach $2.5 million if he makes the active roster. After experiencing elbow soreness at the start of spring training, Hanrahan was shut down and it was revealed that he needed a second Tommy John surgery. The Tigers released him, while it's unlikely that Hanrahan will be back on the mound in game situations for any club before the summer of 2016.
Hanrahan entered the 2013 season as Boston's closer, but succumbed to a hamstring injury early, lost the job to Andrew Bailey, and then suffered an arm injury that led to season-ending Tommy John surgery in May. He pitched just nine games for Boston. He started throwing off flat ground in November and off a mound in December. Teams have checked in with him, but Hanrahan won't get signed until late in the offseason. He'll need to prove to teams the elbow is back in shape and that he can pitch this season.
In a league where closers seem to come and go overnight, Hanrahan has proven rock-solid the last two seasons. After compiling 40 saves to go along with a 1.83 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 2011, the hard-throwing righty saved 36 games with an earned-run average of 2.72 and WHIP of 1.27 last year. Hanrahan fell off in August and September, posting a 3.93 ERA and five saves in 20 games, but a team slump torpedoed Pittsburgh's season -- Hanrahan was not hurt. Traded to Boston in December, Hanrahan is expected to take over the closer's role in Boston, but greater expectations and a handful of viable replacements in the Red Sox's bullpen will almost certainly lessen his margin for error.
Hanrahan entered 2011 in competition with Evan Meek for the closer's job and then saved 14 games in 14 tries before June 1. He stayed hot throughout summer - earning his first All-Star nod - and finished with 40 saves. Hanrahan boosted his average fastball speed to a career-high 97.1 mph and gave up just one homer in 70 games (68.2 innings). From Aug. 16 to season's end, however, the closer struggled with his control and registered a 4.70 ERA in his last 18 outings. Hanrahan remains affordable for the budget-conscious Bucs with two more years of arbitration, but general manager Neal Huntington hasn't been afraid to trade players for the right price.
Hanrahan actually led the entire Pittsburgh pitching staff with 100 strikeouts (in 69.2 IP) in 2010. Trust in his fastball led to a fine season that included 18 holds, six saves and a 3.62 ERA. Following the trade of closer Octavio Dotel, Hanrahan battled Evan Meek for saves and pitched well enough to be considered the frontrunner for saves in 2011. Manager Clint Hurdle has stated his preference to go with one closer instead of a committee. As a result, fantasy owners should know during spring training who will be closing for the Pirates come Opening Day.
Hanrahan offers hope to a bullpen that struggled mightily in 2009. Acquired from the Nationals at the end of June, Hanrahan compiled a 1.72 ERA in 31.1 innings for the Bucs. He kept opponents scoreless in 28 of his last 30 outings and gave up just one earned run in his final 21.2 frames. Hanrahan lost the closer's job last year with the Nats and his inconsistent past makes him a risky fantasy choice as anything more than a late-round pickup. After the Pirates decided to give Matt Capps away for nothing by non-tendering him in December, Hanrahan will likely get another opportunity to show he's ready to close. Watch him closely in spring training.
Hanrahan adjusted nicely to the bullpen, so much so that he took over closer duties late in the season after everyone ahead of him in the pecking order had broken down, washed out or been traded away. His shaky control will keep him from being an elite saves option, but his fastball is still impressive and every manager loves a closer who can bring heat. Barring injury, his job should be safe.
The former Dodgers prospect finally got to the big leagues with the Nationals, but struggled badly in 11 starts. His fastball has never regained the life it had prior to his 2003 shoulder problems, making it tough for him to keep the ball in the park. If he can sharpen his control his breaking pitches are good enough for him to carve out some success in the majors. At this point though, he's a lottery ticket at best.
Hanrahan has regressed the last two seasons, first seeing his K/BB ratio deteriorate at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2004 before taking a step back down to Double-A last year. A tired shoulder marred his 2004 season and from all appearances hasn't fully improved. He's yet another data point toward the theory that pitching prospects are best used as trade bait.
Hanrahan was shut down with a tired shoulder in September 2004, although the move was considered precautionary. He walked way too many last season and should return to Triple-A to continue working on his command. He projects as a back of the rotation starter and could see time in LA in 2005 if injuries strike.
Less heralded than Dodger farmhands Edwin Jackson and Greg Miller, Hanrahan is actually the most developed of the three. His upside might not be as high, but Hanrahan could be in line for a long relief job as soon as this year.
Threw two no-hitters at A Vero Beach in 2002 at the age of 20. Makes the critical leap to AA in 2003 but projects as a middle rotation major leaguer. Another in a fine young class of Dodger hurlers.
More Fantasy News
PDetroit Tigers  
Elbow
March 2, 2015
Hanrahan (elbow) is traveling to Texas to have his arm examined by Dr. Keith Meister, Chris Iott of MLive.com reports.
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PDetroit Tigers  
Elbow
February 23, 2015
Hanrahan (elbow) has been shut down for now, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
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PDetroit Tigers  
Elbow
February 21, 2015
Hanrahan (elbow) threw a short bullpen session on Saturday morning, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
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PDetroit Tigers  
Elbow
February 14, 2015
Hanrahan (elbow) has been throwing in preparation for spring training, but he has not thrown at full velocity on back-to-back days yet, the Detroit News reports.
ANALYSIS
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PDetroit Tigers  
Elbow
November 14, 2014
Hanrahan (elbow) is expected to be ready for spring training, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
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