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New York Yankees Have ‘Strong Interest’ in Former Boston Red Sox Closer Joel Hanrahan: Report

April 30th, 2014 at 4:23 PM
By Doug Rush

With the New York Yankees needing to move both David Phelps and Vidal Nuno from the bullpen into the starting rotation, they are looking for potential additions for the bullpen.

The Yankees have been interested in former Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, who is battling back from Tommy John Surgery last year and why he remains a free agent. Their interest dates back to the end of February just after they had signed Andrew Bailey, but knew he wouldn't be ready to pitch until the end of the summer.

On Wednesday, Jon Heyman from CBS Sports and WFAN reported that the Yankees have strong interest in Hanrahan for their bullpen.

"The Tigers, Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox and Rockies are believed among teams showing strong interest in free-agent closer Joel Hanrahan, who is likely to sign before holding another open showcase. Detroit makes obvious sense since the Tigers would love to replace Bruce Rondon and have someone to team with Joe Nathan at the back end of the bullpen. The Yankees are obviously thinner in the pen than they have been with the retirement of all-time great Mariano Rivera, while the Rangers have been beset by pitching injuries, the Red Sox always liked Hanrahan and the Rockies continue to have interest in bullpen help."

Hanrahan threw for several teams in a showcase this past month with the Yankees scouts in attendance and given that they are still interested in Hanrahan, they obviously liked what they saw down in Tampa two weeks ago.

The Yankees just got back their closer David Robertson, who was on the 15-day DL with a groin injury, which forced the Yankees to go to a closer by committee for two weeks. Shawn Kelley saw the most time as the interim closer with Robertson on the shelf.

The Tigers were to be thought to have great interest, but if Joe Nathan comes back to form, then Detroit's need for Hanrahan isn't as serious as a team like the Yankees or the New York Mets, who have used four different pitchers as the closer in 2014.

The Pirates dealt Hanrahan to Boston the day after Christmas in 2012 in a six-player deal ans got nine appearances out of Hanrahan; pitching to an 0-1 record with a 9.82 ERA and four saves before landing on the DL. Before 2013, Hanrahan had been an All Star closer in Pittsburgh in 2011 and 2012, saving 76 games in that time.

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Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Joel Hanrahan, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, pittsburgh pirates

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