Martino: Yankees continue to monitor Hanrahan

With Gardner and Ellsbury locked up, Yankees need to get power from their infielders
2014 Season Preview: Returning from Injury

Outside of Matt Thornton and some minor league pickups, the Yankees didn’t do much to improve their bullpen this past offseason. David Robertson will take over as closer but the team did not replace Mariano Rivera in the sense that they lost an elite reliever and didn’t pick up anyone to take his spot. New York has a bunch of interesting young guys in camp and Joe Girardi always seems to cobble together a good bullpen out of nowhere, so it might not even be a problem.

The Yankees signed former All-Star closer Andrew Bailey to a minor league contract over the weekend, but that move is geared more towards 2015 than 2014. He is rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn shoulder capsule (and labrum!) and both Girardi and Brian Cashman confirmed that if he does pitch this year, it won’t be until late-August or September. According to Andy Martino, the Yankees have been monitoring two other relievers who are returning from injury and could provide more immediate help:

It turns out the Yanks sent a scout to a recent showcase for former Phillies closer Ryan Madson, according to a source — and while impressed by Madson’s arm after two years of rough recovery from Tommy John surgery, the team considered his asking price excessive.

The Yankees also continue to monitor another another former All-Star, Joel Hanrahan, who underwent Tommy John last year (the Mets have also watched him throw a bullpen session).  If Robertson is successful, a player like Hanrahan would probably serve as a setup man.

Madson is the rare Tommy John surgery failure story — he had the procedure two years ago and has not pitched since due to continued setbacks and complications. The 33-year-old has been working out for teams for a few weeks now and there have been no reports of his asking price, whatever it may be. After two lost years, I’ve been assuming he would have to take a minor league deal like Bailey. I guess he’s shooting for more since he’s in a better position to help a team right away.

Hanrahan, 32, not only had Tommy John surgery last May, he also had his flexor tendon repaired and bone chips removed from his elbow. They did all three procedures at once and while he is currently throwing off a mound, Hanrahan isn’t expected to be game ready until May or June. There’s a chance he will be ready sooner rather than later just because he’s a one-inning reliever and won’t have to get stretched back out like a starter.

Given his timetable and the nature of his injury, Hanrahan might be the best 2014 bullpen option among himself, Bailey, and Madson. We know Bailey won’t be able to help until late in the year, if at all. Madson hasn’t pitched in two years and since he’s already had so many setbacks with the elbow, I don’t think you can count on him to be healthy and productive until he’s actually on a big league mound being healthy and productive. All three guys were elite when they were last healthy, but Hanrahan’s injury is the least severe. (They’re all severe, obviously.)

The Yankees have been signing injured pitchers and waiting for them to get healthy for years. They did it with Jon Lieber (worked out) and Octavio Dotel (didn’t work out) back in the day and with David Aardsma (didn’t work out) more recently. Bailey is the latest example and if Madson’s demands remain excessive for a pitcher who hasn’t pitched in two years, Hanrahan could be the next. With nothing but scraps left on the free agent market and teams not really looking to trade relievers at the moment, he is their best option for potential high-end bullpen help in the near future.

With Gardner and Ellsbury locked up, Yankees need to get power from their infielders
2014 Season Preview: Returning from Injury
  • stuckey


    Mike, can you think of or write an intro that does NOT follow the same formula, of:

    1.) The Yankees still need help.
    2.) There isn’t much left on the market.
    3.) They’re monitoring or signing this player.

    Seriously, you follow this same format for nearly EVERY story about a player that Yankees MIGHT have interest in.

    At this point can’t you just report on the fact the Yankees are scouting or considering players without the exact same disclaimer to start the story?

    I understand the natural reaction will be to respond defensively about this and justify it, but NOTHING needs to be repeated as often as you repeat. This is a harcore fan board, we all know what the Yankees roster looks like, and it isn’t as dire as this boilerpart introduction of yours makes it seem.

    I think if you give it a moment you’ll agree this has become boilerplate.

    • TCMiller30

      You know you don’t have to read the entire thing right?

      *The Yanks are scouting Hanrahan
      *What’s his injury status
      *What’s his contract likely to look like.
      *…Move on.

      Just skip over the parts about the current Yankees pen, the additions/subtractions that happened etc. if it bothers you.

    • dkidd

      i like the intros. i’d rather mike err on the side of context, even if it’s stuff most of the regulars know already

    • Algernon Blackwood

      At this point I’d settle for something spell checked.

    • Jonathan

      If this is your biggest gripe and largest issue in your life to deal with now you should be too happy to bitch over an incredible FREE blog run by basically one guy. If it isn’t your biggest problem or issue then I suggest going to work on said issue instead.

      The Yankees have A LOT of holes and are very top heavy. In reality we could use an upgrade at almost every infield position and besides a couple of guys the entire bullpen is a question mark. It seems everyone forgot what it was like to have guys like Farnsworth/Vizcaino/Phil Coke/Dotel/Jose Veras/Brian Bruney etc as our 8th inning guy.

    • Vern Sneaker

      Pretty picky. Like nearly all of Mike’s stuff, I found it interesting. I haven’t been following Hanrahan’s status.

    • Sweet Dick Wliie

      Waaaaa. This free ice cream isn’t the flavor I like.

      Get a life.

    • Havok9120

      Yes! Because no sports fans switch to other sports during the offseason and only return haphazardly during the course of Spring Training, often not knowing many details of the offseason.

      That’s why ALL the regulars stick around on the board year-round, and there’s no uptick in site traffic and comments in the Spring or around the trade deadline.

      Wait, what?

      If it annoys you, skip it. Or make a comment phrased as a polite suggestion. Part of the reason the reflexive reaction is to defend the practice is that abrasive, self-righteous criticism tends to turn people off.

    • JMK

      It’s a bit boilerplate to regulars, but I prefer some context for an intro. While I’d bet a good chunk of the readers are hardcore fans and thus well aware of the roster construction, you’re still making a big assumption about the readership.

      If even 25 percent of readers are casual observers, Mike would be overall doing a big disservice by stripping a boilerplate paragraph of context. Alienating one finicky board member seems to be the right call.

      Maybe you should consider starting your own blog, stuckey. Or ask Mike for your money back.

    • Reuben Sierra’s Chains

      Well Stuckey, I would say that was a pretty successful trolling attempt right there. Got a lot of people to bite.

      Why you people respond to nonsense like this is why Trolls win the internet every single day.

      • vicki

        what you said.

  • Mark L.

    What ever happened to Frank Francisco?

    Also, I don’t see any reason not to bring someone like Mike Gonzalez to camp. He has still been pretty effective against LHB over the past three seasons.

  • JOhn C

    Thought Hanrahan would be the better choice becuase his was an elbow injury, not shoulder which is much tougher to come back from. I’d take a flier on Hanrahan for sure.

  • TWTR

    This is a very good way to use your financial advantage, and unlike some prior instances of this strategy, they have real openings for relievers that can perform, so it’s not like a player has to fear being blocked.

  • Algernon Blackwood

    “but the team did not Mariano Rivera in the sense that they lost an elite reliever and didnt puck up anyone to take his spot”

    Lol, wut?

    • lightSABR

      It should be, “but the team did not replace Mariano Rivera.”

  • DIrk Diggler

    Between Dellin Betances, Mark Montgomery, maybe Jose Ramirez, and maybe Manny Banuelos, the Yankees have a few potentially high upside bullpen options to turn to down the stretch of the season. Ramirez and Montgomery particularly are guys I think can really contribute as late inning options this season if called upon. Personally, the bullpen is the least of my worries.

    • Phil

      Please keep Manny Banuelos in AAA all year so he will be ready to take Kurodas spot in 2015 …A full year at AAA will allow him to get his innings up and work on his command. They have plenty of young arms to stick in the bullpen this year : Claiborne, Warren, Betances, Montgomery, Caberal and Ramierz.

  • BrianMcCannon

    Can’t say the Yanks aren’t doing their due diligence. Hanrahan and Bailey could be some nice buy-low pickups.

  • lightSABR

    Threadjack – Everyone, in case you haven’t noticed: The Yankees are playing baseball. Right now.

    Well, a few of them, anyway.

  • Phil

    My concern is Texiera…..I don’t see him playing a full season and who do they have as a backup?