The Rangers' search for pitching help has led them to make "low-level inquiries" on Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. According to Rosenthal, if the Pirates decided to part with the right-hander, it would be for "a significant price."
While Neftali Feliz is one of the game's top closers, Texas doesn't have a clear ninth inning alternative should the 23-year-old miss any more time. The Rangers also may be more inclined to eventually move Feliz into the rotation if they have another viable closing option. As Rosenthal notes, Hanrahan, who is under team control through 2013, would be a perfect fit as a pitcher who could set up for Feliz this season and take over as the closer in 2012.
In recent years, the Pirates have frequently played the role of sellers as the trade deadline approaches. However, they currently sit only one game below .500 and four games out of first place, so it's likely too early to tell whether Hanrahan or other players will be available this summer. Last week, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined what we can expect if the Pirates become sellers.