Rangers Sign Tommy Hanson

FRIDAY: The Rangers have officially announced Hanson's deal and placed lefty Joe Ortiz on the 60-day disabled list to clear a 40-man roster spot. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (via Twitter) that Hanson can earn as little as $125K (if he is released) or as much as $3.6MM (if he maxes out his incentives).

TUESDAY, 9:56pm: Hanson does get a major league contract, but it is a split deal that will provide a separate minor league salary, explains Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). In other words, Hanson — who has an option remaining – does not get a $2MM guarantee but will be paid at that rate for such time as he is on the MLB roster.

8:41am: Hanson's deal with the Rangers is actually a Major League deal, not a minor league contract, tweets Heyman. Hanson will earn $2MM (plus incentives) and is likely to be the team's fifth starter.

MONDAY, 8:08pm: Hanson would earn $2MM if he makes the roster, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and can also earn incentives.

10:25am: The Rangers have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Tommy Hanson, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Hanson is a client of the Legacy Agency's Greg Genske.

Hanson and the Rangers were said to be nearing an agreement late last week. Texas had its fair share of first-hand looks at Hanson in 2013, as the right-hander made three appearances (two starts) against the Rangers in his lone season as a member of the division-rival Angels. Anaheim acquired Hanson from the Braves last offseason in exchange for setup man Jordan Walden.

Three or four years ago, few would have believed Hanson to be available for such a low price. The 6'6" Oklahoma native was ranked the game's No. 4 prospect (by Baseball America) heading into the 2009 season, and in his first three big league seasons (2009-11), Hanson posted a sterling 3.28 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 40.6 percent ground-ball rate. He looked to be well on his way to cementing himself as one of the game's best young pitchers, but that 2011 campaign was cut short by a shoulder injury.

Hanson would go on to suffer a concussion in a car accident the following spring, and he missed time with a back injury in 2012 as well. The result was a 4.48 ERA in 174 2/3 innings, but more troubling was his drop in velocity; Hanson's heater had fallen from an average of 92.7 mph in 2010 to just 89.7 mph in 2012. The Angels elected to gamble on his upside, acquiring him in exchange for an embattled right-hander of their own in Walden.

Things merely got worse for Hanson in the American League. In addition to his injury issues, Hanson suffered the tragic loss of his younger step-brother early in the 2013 season. He missed a full week on the bereavement list and then spent more time away from the game on the restricted list as he tried to cope with the shocking loss. As Hanson told the L.A. Times' Bill Shaikin:

"I was having mental issues with the death of my younger brother. I was just trying to get through it. I didn’t know how to handle it. That was the first time anything like that had ever happened to me. I didn’t know how to cope with it."

Hanson's struggles with the Angels culminated in a 5.42 ERA in 73 innings of work. The Halos non-tendered him in December rather than pay him a small raise in arbitration, and he'll now look to earn a spot in the Rangers' rotation in Spring Training. Texas could certainly use the depth with Matt Harrison coming off a season in which he threw just 10 2/3 innings and Derek Holland out until at least the All-Star break after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee.

Because Hanson currently has just four years, 97 days of Major League service, the deal has added upside for the Rangers. Should he be able to rediscover his early-career magic in Arlington, the Rangers will control Hanson through 2015 season.


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91 Comments on "Rangers Sign Tommy Hanson"


LittleOtterPaws
1 year 6 months ago

Oh so its the Rangers turn to play “What the hell happened to Tommy Hanson?”

Michael A. Gould
1 year 6 months ago

It’s not like they’re counting on him for 180 innings. Mike Maddux has figured something out with pitchers in Texas, and Hanson has to be an upgrade over Ross Wolf, Travis Blackley, and Josh Lindbloom, who combined for 11 starts for Texas last year.

If he can give the Rangers 15 starts and an ERA under 4.5, it’ll be exactly what they’re looking for.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

a minor league deal is just that, let him figure it out. If he does, well its a steal. If not, move along to the next guy.

liberalconservative
1 year 6 months ago

More like if Hanson is in the rangers rotation its not good news for them. That would mean 3 or 4 starters ahead of him is hurt. Every AL west team has signed a minor league back up in case of injuries.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I agree Liberal.

BK
1 year 6 months ago

As an Angel fan last year, its really easy to say 15 starts with an ERA under 4.5, but the real question you will find yourself asking is “how is this guys pitch count at 86 with two outs in the 3rd inning?”

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I think with this contract they will have somewhat figured out his issues before he is asked to start 15 times. Just a guess.

Defiancy
1 year 6 months ago

If he could give any team 15 starts with an ERA under 4.5 he wouldn’t be signing a minor league deal in February.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

from 2009-11, Hanson pitched 460.1 innings with a 3.28 ERA with 431 K’s and 148 BB’s. He’s only 27 and signed a minor-league contract. Seeing that Dutch will miss extended time this year, I can’t see anything wrong with this signing. Even if he never regains his form, he still offers solid minor-league depth. But I can see him finding a little of his old self, eventually working with the Maddux brothers (possibly in Spring Training).

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

His arm is toast, he throws a straight 88 mph fastball that is so easy to pickup with his delivery. If he ever pitches in Arlington this year, he is going to get lit up.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

Colby Lewis has survived with an 87-90MPH straight fastball (he does boast a really good slider, though). I’m just saying, location and secondary pitches will dictate how he bounces back.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

If you do not throw 95 your worthless to some…Greg Maddux was such a flame thrower, right?

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

Because everything Greg Maddux threw was also straight right? Since you conveniently chose to leave that part of what I said out.

I’ll go ahead and trust my opinion as someone who has seen just about everyone one of Hanson’s starts in his career as a Braves fan and you can hope for your 1 in a million chance at rebuilding Tommy Hanson, which would be a 2 year project rebuilding his entire windup.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

hence a minor league contract. Again, this isn’t a signature addition. And you are correct, I left out the “straight”. Excuse me. No knock on your opinion, it is what it is. My only point in any of this is simple. He is not being asked to do anything but pitch in a minor league environment. What is the harm and or fault in trying it out?

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

You’re acting like I said it was a terrible signing and waste of money, which I didnt. I said his arm his toast, because sadly it is.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Well I suppose I am acting that way. If his arm is toast and your in the know about his well-being, would you classify it any other way? You knocked him as a player or at-least his current playing status, so in my mind it appears as though your opinion would lean towards the “bad signing” side of the fence. I still think at this point he is buried on the depth chart so it may all be a moot point in the end anyways. Right or wrong?

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

He is the 5th starter apparently, so Ill tweak my opinion. Bad move now.

Bcatz11
1 year 6 months ago

That’s jumping the gun a bit. he will have plenty of competition. Lewis, Tepesh, Jackson, Ross, Scheppers ect.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Well, keep in mind they only have 4 current starters. So they first need to fill the void of dingleberry Holland and find the 5th. So that leave two spots. The hope is Harrison is actually healthy, along with Lewis. Jumping the gun, yes, I would agree.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

that is just odd that they claim he will be the # 5 already. So, I will currently concede my original opinion. I still won’t jump of the bridge, yet….

easton714
1 year 6 months ago

Ummm…Maddux was a flamethrower when he was younger. Why does everyone only remember the 42 year old Maddux?

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Because he was 42 for 15 years.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

And the point was Hanson once possessed a solid fastball and will have to learn to work without it, much like Maddux (whom was referenced previously by another) will hopefully help teach him.

johnsilver
1 year 6 months ago

If your FB is straight? The pitcher had better have some jam up secondary pitches, regardless of how hard they throw/ Point? Brad Penny threw 97+ and his FB was straight, as did Curt Schilling. Notice the difference in those 2 careers? Penny had a so-so curve to go along with a 97FB and Schill had an wipe out slider and good change.

Doesn’t matter if you throw 100 and it’s straight.. batter’s will look for it if that 2nd pitch is nothing.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

hence me stating he needed to learn to work without it. If its there or not is irrelevant if you or anyone else is claiming its simply straight. As you have graciously mentioned those without secondary pitches.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

and my fastball is probably hovering around 84, but I was not a pitcher and never signed to a major league contract. SO who cares what my FB is or isn’t.

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

You can make up for a lack of velocity with movement and control, unfortunately Hanson doesnt have any movement on his fastball and he lacks control of his whole repertoire.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

Hence the minor league contract. He’ll go to spring training trying to regain some control and maybe refocus his mind. I’m not saying he’ll be the pitcher he once was, but regaining some of his old form could potentially help us.

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

Major League contract.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

Well that changes how we’ll view it at the end of the contract, but it may still end up being a bargain. To say because he throws an 88MPH straight fastball he’ll get lit up is inaccurate. At his best his fastball averaged a little under 93 MPH. Working with Mike and Greg will help him regain confidence and show him its not all about blowing people away.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

guess all we can do is wait and see now.

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

If it were only that easy.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

Hence the minor league contract. He’ll go to spring training trying to regain some control and maybe refocus his mind. I’m not saying he’ll be the pitcher he once was, but regaining some of his old form could potentially help us.

Cosmo3
1 year 6 months ago

It’s funny, this post could have perfectly described Scott Kazmir just a couple short years ago.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Its called “actually learning how to pitch”. It’s similar to taking a stud prospect pitcher and shove him out to the California league. He may be far too good for the competition but the conditions are a hitters paradise. Brings them down a tick and teaches them not to always rely on straight heat.

connfyoozed .
1 year 6 months ago

Hanson will need to climb back up on to the map… the map he fell off of during the last couple of years. He went from solid to scary very quickly.

dug
1 year 6 months ago

Matt Harrison threw 10 innings last season.

LittleOtterPaws
1 year 6 months ago

Holland, Harrison, and Hanson sounds like a law practice.

gammaraze
1 year 6 months ago

Holland, Harrison, Hanson, and Associates.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

buy low. One day a buy low will really work out for the Rangers.

ChrisV
1 year 6 months ago

Neal Cotts has worked out quite well so far. A 1.11 ERA over 57 innings is pretty darn good for any guy especially one who was given a minor league contract last season. Hopefully Tommy Hanson can be the same and get back to his old self, or at least good enough til Holland gets back.

Cabro Epico
1 year 6 months ago

Rest of the AL West celebrates

talcha32
1 year 6 months ago

Why do they care about a guy that will hang out in AAA all year?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Looks like we can celebrate now, he will be in the MLB all year!

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Had the article ever mentioned, “Rangers Ink Hanson to a multi-year mega deal to be staff ace”, I’d worry. If this guy never pitches on a big league mound there has been no harm done to the organization. Understand the signing and put some thought into it before announcing the potential failure it could be.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

Just like the Mulder deal for the Angels this is a smart move by the Rangers. There is no risk at all. If he performs – super. If not he is cut with no money lost.

These types of deals are always smart as they don’t impact the roster or cost any real money. Why people hate on these moves is beyond me.

Personally, I think the guy is done. Maybe after a year off his shoulder gets better. But what I saw last year was just flat out awful.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

They tried it with Brandon Webb. It didn’t work. So be it, just like in this situation. He was highly touted and has shown in the past he can be a good pitcher. Circumstances have gotten in the way, the book is certainly not closed. Somewhere above Colby Lewis was mentioned. While he is certainly no ace, he has turned his career around and frankly was the best pitcher the Rangers had in their first playoff run to the World Series. People cast these guys off much too soon.

rettdavis
1 year 6 months ago

Sometimes a change of scenery and a new voice to listen to is all a player needs to figure himself out.

Mike Query
1 year 6 months ago

That change of scenery and new voice gave him a 5.50 era last year, sometimes when a guy loses it, he loses it.

Rusty_Arcadia
1 year 6 months ago

I was thinking Hanson was worth the risk on a minor league deal. But a 2M major league deal. That’s a head scratcher. He’s certainly a project, not sure why anyone would commit major league money to him.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah – I’ll go ahead and say disregard my previous post. Taking up a roster spot, costing $2M, and projecting to be the 5th starter are all things that are new. And the new information makes this deal difficult to support.

Metsfan27
1 year 6 months ago

Good signing by Texas. Minor league deals can’t hurt, and Hanson has history of success. Hopefully he can stay healthy and rejuvenate his career.

BraveCrowe
1 year 6 months ago

I hope he gets it turned around, for such a promising start. I’m sure his baseball career is incredibly frustrating. His jerky mechanics just finally caught up to him.

MadmanTX
1 year 6 months ago

It’s a minor league deal, so the Rangers can see if they can find some salvage in Hanson. I wish him well–even if he isn’t going to come back and be an ace, maybe he can convert to a serviceable reliever. Maybe he can learn a new pitch or two like a knuckler or something to help with the decreased velocity? At least, the Rangers can afford to be more patient with Hanson than the Angels could.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

How can the Rangers afford to be more patient exactly? Texas is probably the worst place for Hanson to try and figure himself out. That ballpark could ruin him.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

if you have noticed, that ballpark plays much differently than in past.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Aside from the jet stream not flowing through quite the same in 2013, the Rangers still had rather lob sided home/road splits as an offense. They also had quite possibly their worst lineup since that ballpark opened. That’s why they weren’t as great a hitting team as years past. Their OBP on the road was only .314. That’s terrible. But .333 at home. They also had a one of their best bullpens.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

aside from the jet stream always being the “key” component to the lofty fly ball, I’d say the loss of that aspect is quite important. Ian Kinsler was the killer when it came to home and road splits. Team wise, BA was .268 @ home and .257 on the road, (not at all drastic). They also managed more hits on the road than @ home. More HR on the road than @ home and share = slg. % between the two. So yes, you are correct, they had a better obp% @ home versus the road. Basically they walked more on the road than at home. And the big kicker, how about a better home ERA for their pitching staff versus that on the road?

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

interestingly enough, go back to 2011 and crunch some #’s. See a trend? The biggest factor the park now has is the immense heat the games are played in. With dead air though, the ball dies at the warning track where the ball once took off.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Hanson is not suddenly going to become a knuckleball pitcher just because he lost velocity on his FB. Very few pitchers ever master the knuckleball and I have never heard of a pitcher becoming one from one year to the next.

Yanksfan2010
1 year 6 months ago

Since Tommy Hanson was signed. Anyway we could get Doug Penhall and Dennis Booker signed?

outlawsundown
1 year 6 months ago

He has had a pretty rough couple years maybe if he has some time to get his head straight and some time working with the Rangers pitching coaches he’ll turn it around. It would be nice if had a Cotts like comeback. But it’s a good low risk deal for the Rangers.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

If it was a major league contract I’d be scratching my head. Might not be the best ballpark for Hanson to try and figure himself out in.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

new word is he will possibly be the #5. I feel much different about it now.

gnats
1 year 6 months ago

You keep saying this, and yet, the ballpark has played much differently since the ballpark renovations of 2012.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

it was a significant difference last year. Obviously not the intentions when the renovations were done but I think it plays reasonably well from a pitching aspect.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

Check the home/road splits. Still favoring home quite a bit. The Rangers had a rather weak offense the last 2 seasons compared to years past. And they also had one of their best bullpens.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Watching 98% of their games was really all that is needed to recognize the park plays much different than before.

connfyoozed .
1 year 6 months ago

Hanson’s deal being a major league one, for $2 million, instead of a minor league deal, is probably going to change the opinions of a number of people about the wisdom of this move.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

indeed it does. But hey, how many teams have superb #5 guys? Silver lining is all I am searching for.

rundmc1981
1 year 6 months ago

Considering LAD’s #5 is Josh Beckett/Paul Maholm…not many.

slasher016
1 year 6 months ago

Reds #5 guy is Tony Cingrani or Mike Leake. But yes it is rare.

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I guess over the years it’s not rare the Rangers have a suspect #5. For years it was a 1-5 issue.

EVIL EMPIRE
1 year 6 months ago

I wouldn’t call Hanson a superb #5 guy, he has not been effective over the course of the past 2 seasons

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

Now not so keen on the deal. Was hoping he would just go to the minors and figure things out, not likely be the #5 starter.

Bcatz11
1 year 6 months ago

Don’t believe everything you read. He will have plenty of competition for the #5 spot

Ben-Dessa Anderton
1 year 6 months ago

I was taught to always buy into what the internet told me.

Jeff
1 year 6 months ago

Hanson and Jurrjens- such a shame what happened to those two. Such a shame. Hopefully they recover.

rundmc1981
1 year 6 months ago

ATL should have traded him when he was considered to start for the NL in the All-Star Game. Halladay started.

Christophe Lachance-Tardif
1 year 6 months ago

I remember back in 2011 when the Braves wanted to trade Jurrjens to the O’s for Adam Jones. It seems like a long time ago. No one would have thought a couple of years back, that both Hanson and Jurrjens would be where they are today.

EVIL EMPIRE
1 year 6 months ago

This guy was on his way to being an ace for the long haul, and then things just started to look grim. Maybe he finds that mentality again and is able to impress some of the doubters including myself.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t think its a mental problem, its that he has lost 3 MPH on all his pitches since his dominant 2010

EVIL EMPIRE
1 year 6 months ago

I think that his stuff has dipped as well but I also considered him to be a good pitcher and good pitchers adjust to different scenarios. IMO that loss of stuff has affected his confidence in himself and once confidence goes so do results.

bjsguess
1 year 6 months ago

He was never a great pitcher. He was a thrower that had good enough stuff to be a solid rotation arm. His mechanics were screwy and talk about future injuries started when he was in the minors.

There is no doubt that something is physically wrong with him. He was averaging 93.5 mph back in 2010. That dropped to 91.9 in 2011 and 90.4 in 2012.

baschkar
1 year 6 months ago

I think the Rangers may have thought that most of his issues came from his past shoulder injury and the loss of his brother. He may have convinced them that both of these issues will no longer affect his ability to pitch and concentrate. Lets just see how this turns out before saying it was a great signing or terrible one. (if it were a minor league deal though, i’d say there’s no way it turns out terrible for the rangers because they’re not depending on any contributions from him)