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Tigers Look to Shore Up Bullpen with Hanrahan Signing

The Detroit Tigers have the best record in the American League and the second best in all of baseball at 15-9. The Tigers have won 3 straight games and lead second place Kansas City in the AL Central by 3 games after just a little over a month of the regular season.

However, the Tigers are not satisfied with their bullpen and acquired Joel Hanrahan to help shore up that part of the club.

Hanrahan was a free agent and signed for one year with the Tigers the club announced on Friday. The 32-year old reliever has a record of 22-18 with a career ERA of 3.85. The right-hander has 100 saves in his seven seasons in the big leagues with Boston, Pittsburgh and Washington.

In 2011 and 2012, Hanrahan had 76 saves for Pittsburgh and earned to straight trips to the All-Star Game with the National League.

However, in May of 2013, Hanrahan had Tommy John surgery and missed the majority of last season with Boston.

He held a showcase recently for teams in Florida and the Rockies, Red Sox, Rangers, Mets and Yankees all expressed some interest in the reliever.

Hanrahan was placed by the Tigers on the 15-day disabled list and will make a move to open a place on the 40-man roster for the right-hander.

Hanrahan will be paid a $1 million base salary and could earn up to $2 million more in incentives, said a source close to the negotiations.

The reliever will start a rehab assignment with the extended spring program in Florida. He could be facing hitters by next week. No date has been given as to when Hanrahan might pitch for the Tigers.

The Tigers believe the gamble of signing Hanrahan due to his Tommy John surgery is worth it, as they believe he will stabilize the tail end of the bullpen over time.

Torii Hunter a Detroit outfielder and good friend of Hanrahan, helped to recruit the pitcher to sign with the Tigers.

Harahan did not want to speculate when he would return to the major but feels it will be somewhere between 30 and 40 days.

During the offseason, Detroit signed Joe Nathan a six-time All Star and Joba Chamberlain a former reliever with the Yankees. The Tigers wanted to improve their bullpen but in the early part of the season, the bullpen has not performed well and has caused major problems for Brad Ausmus the Tigers first-year manager.

The bullpen for Detroit is ranked a dismal N0. 29 out of 30 with an ERA of 5.37. Just the Houston Astros have a worse reliever’s corps, with a 5.86 ERA.

Detroit knows the season is very long and the long, hot days of summer are just around the corner. By shoring up the one area that has not performed well, Tigers’ management is hoping to give the club a better shot at making the World Series in October.

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