The New York Mets have been eyeing the return of relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan for a while now. Hanrahan, 32, has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and in February, New York had scouts in Texas to watch him throw a ‘light bullpen.’
Perhaps it was Sandy Alderson foreshadowing a little bit, foreseeing some of the issues the Mets have had with their bullpen early in the season. To be fair the collection of arms in the Mets ‘pen have made up for it within the past few days, locking down the Braves en route to a series win in Atlanta.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that most of the relievers for the Mets are unreliable and somewhat erratic. Every guy out there is either unproven or on the back end of their career. How long can we expect them to hold down the fort without some help added? Hanrahan is no spring chicken, but he could still have a lot left in the tank.
After losing Bobby Parnell, the Mets’ pursuit of Hanrahan should be a no-brainer. Coming back from Tommy John is always a cause for concern but this could be a huge upgrade for the Mets.
Jose Valverde has looked impressive to start the season and deserves remain the closer until if or when he begins to cost the team some wins. Hanrahan can fit into the 8th inning role currently occupied but the unpredictable Kyle Farnsworth, who can anchor the middle-relief group where there’s a little less pressure. If Valverde does start to falter, manager Terry Collins has an option in Hanrahan whom we’ve seen have recent success closing games in Pittsburgh.
With his velocity back in the nineties, signs are encouraging for Hanrahan and he will surely garner some interest. As reported by Rising Apple, Hanrahan will host a showcase for interested teams next week. There are a few other teams interested, so that may cause some bidding but for the right price the Mets should definitely take a shot.
There was some panic within the first few days, but the bullpen hasn’t really been all that bad. We’ve just seen this movie before, where a move wasn’t made until the problem reached its height.
Alderson obviously saw the Mets needing bullpen help when he was sending scouts to look at Hanrahan in February. Since then, all they’ve done is lose their closer for the rest of the season. Before this problem in the Mets ‘pen gets any worse, let’s try and fix it.
It satisfies needs for both parties. Hanrahan will likely get a one-year deal with an attempt to drive his own stock up from the future by proving he’s healthy. The Mets could gain some sorely needed veteran leadership and stability in the bullpen.
If Hanrahan isn’t healthy for whatever reason, Collins is back where he started. If he gives you even some of what we saw in 2011 and 2012 for the Pirates, the Mets could be a much improved bullpen and staff in turn. Hopefully for the Mets, their interest earlier on in rehab earns them some favor with the reliever and his agent.
We don’t know exactly what the asking price will be, but one would think Met fans would rather see their front office attempt to improve the team than sit back and let another sure bullpen issue resurface.