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Yankees Rumors: New York has interest in Joel Hanrahan

Could the one-time Red Sox closer be a fit for the Yankees?


It seems that the Yankees might still be looking around for available bullpen arms in an attempt to make up for the loss of Mariano Rivera. Moving David Robertson into the closer role has, in turn, moved Shawn Kelley into a setup role, but it's also left their corps of relievers a little on the shallow side. Dellin Betances has shown promise, but the rest of the bullpen has been filled with starters David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno in an attempt to bring the best arm with them out of spring training.

That's all well and good, but it means the team lacks in some serious backend bullpen experience and to combat this, they could be looking into adding Joel Hanrahan. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Hanrahan will hold a showcase next week as his rehab from Tommy john surgery comes to an end. Crasnick says the Yankees, Mets,Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Athletics, and Rays have shown interest in the 32-year-old former closer. Many of these teams are in greater need of relief help than the Yankees are.

Hanrahan was in Boston's 2013 bullpen, serving as their closer for a time before going down with a torn flexor tendon and UCL ligament. His injury eventually led to the ridiculous rise of Koji Uehara, who might have never gotten the chance otherwise. Hanrahan's high-velocity fastball/slider repertoire makes him a very obvious target for the Yankees, however, the damage done to his arm is definitely something to be concerned about. Yankee scouts will likely be looking first at how he's throwing, and second at how fast he's throwing. Velocity might be important, but you want to see him able to throw free and easy without much effort or discomfort. It wouldn't surprise me if his velocity is down a few ticks from his average 95 mph fastball until he can build up arm strength. Of course, you don't want him to be looking like Johan Santana, incapable of throwing in the 90s, either.

They could sign Hanrahan to a one-year deal with an option for 2015, like they did with Andrew Bailey (another member of the 2013 Red Sox bullpen) and keep him around for insurance in case D-Rob leaves in free agency. Unlike Bailey, though, Hanrahan will be back by midseason, so he might be looking for a one-year deal to re-establish his value as a free agent in 2015. That would line him up as a setup man for the Yankees, though he could prefer a closer job, which the A's and Mets can easily offer him.

We'll see how it all works out next week. Another name to look out for is Ryan Madson, who is also attempting to return from injury at some point this season.