Detroit -- Still waiting for him to contribute, but also still thinking he will, the Tigers have re-signed right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan.
Hanrahan, 33, was the proven closer the Tigers signed to a $1 million contract in May with the hope that his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2013 would be quick enough for him to pitch during the 2014 season.
Because of setbacks during his rehab, however, he didn't.
But the Tigers remained as interested in Hanrahan for 2015 as they were for 2014 — so they re-upped with him for a $1 million base salary plus $2.5 million in possible bonuses, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed Friday.
it's a minor-league contract with major-league money. But if Hanrahan makes the team, it gives the Tigers three relief pitchers with closing experience: Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria and Hanrahan.
Dombrowski said Hanrahan had interest from other clubs, but only negotiated with the Tigers, because he felt loyal to them for taking a chance this past season.
Still, Dombrowski acknowledged the signing is a risk. He's been cleared medically, but with such a long layoff, plus the complications over the summer, there's no telling what kind of impact Hanrahan will have. In fact, when asked if Dombrowski was more confident in Bruce Rondon, who had Tommy John surgery in March, or Hanrahan making an impact, Dombrowski didn't hesitate. He said Rondon.
A power pitcher, Hanrahan's best year was 2011 with Pittsburgh when he saved 40 games and had a 1.83 ERA. He followed that with 36 saves and 2.72 in 2012 for the Pirates, but was able to pitch in only nine games in 2013 after being traded to Boston during the off-season.
He's not pitched in a major-league game, because of elbow surgery, since May 6, 2013.