Yesterday was the deadline for the Texas Rangers to make a decision on starting pitcher Tommy Hanson. As I posted earlier this week, (here) there was a lot to consider when it came to Hanson. A decision was reached, and Hanson is no longer a Texas Ranger.
The move hardly comes as a surprise. Hanson had struggled mightily in his last start, March 22 against Kansas City. In all, Hanson had flashed at times but struggled to consistently locate his pitches. He walked too many and gave up too many hits.
Hanson’s bad performance on Saturday, coupled with the ascension of Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross, made his chances of make the team a long shot. Then word came that Yu Darvish would be scratched from his Opening Day start and the door cracked just a bit for Hanson.
Tommy Hanson did bring some positives, namely his big league experience and the possibility that he could reestablish himself with time after dealing with injuries last year. However, when rumors began to swirl that the Rangers were trying to sign Scott Baker, another starter trying to re-start his career after suffering an elbow injury, it again appeared that the writing was on the wall.
When Ron Washington announced Nick Martinez as the team’s fifth starter, a player who didn’t appear on anybody’s radar during a spring full of conjecture, it became clear that Hanson was a goner. Just a short time later, he was. By releasing Hanson, the Rangers avoid paying him the $1.5 million dollar bonus he would have been owed by making the Major League roster.
Although Hanson’s time with the Rangers is over, his career certainly isn’t. Starting pitching is a valuable commodity in the Major Leagues and someone will surely take a flyer on him if the price is right. As for the Rangers, the move makes perfect sense. $2 million was simply too much to pay for a guy who was only going to make the team as a long reliever.
Now the Rangers get to test drive young Nick Martinez (see Lisa Weatherall’s story here) for a start or two while they wait on Darvish to return. It was a savvy move by the Rangers and the right one.
As for Tommy Hanson, I wish him the best of luck wherever he lands.