The Yankees bullpen has been pretty strong through the early going, but they may be looking to bolster the ‘pen with a proven closer coming back from Tommy John surgery. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Yankees are the most likely candidates to sign former Red Sox closer, Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan, 32, will audition in front of teams on Thursday in Tampa Florida and the Yankees will send scouts to check on the pitcher’s recovery. After David Robertson was put on the 15-day disabled list, the Yankees went looking for extra arms to try and fill out some holes despite the rest of the ‘pen performing well. From 2011 to 2012, Hanrahan earned 76 saves while closing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After being traded to the Red Sox before the 2013 season he struggled, but was still able to collect 4 saves before requiring Tommy John surgery that ended his season.
Hanrahan will require more time to recover and he’ll have to play in a few rehab games but should return around mid-season. The Yankees could sign the 32-year-old to a deal similar to the one they gave his former teammate, Andrew Bailey this past off-season. That deal being a 1-year deal with a team option for a second which would probably be a very team friendly contract as far as money goes. When David Robertson returns he will assume the closer role and push Shawn Kelley back to the setup man (presumably) and Hanrahan could fit in very well as a middle reliever or a a closer if needed. Last year the Dodgers’ took a chance on Brian Wilson who was also recovering from Tommy John. He ended up being one of baseball’s most effective relief pitchers once he returned.