What the Texas Rangers mean to Tommy Hanson


Sep 09, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (48) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers completed the deal with right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson.   Hanson will enter spring training trying to make the team’s 25-man roster by opening day.  But at this point it, he might not make it by that time.   Mainly because he is still trying to get back to his former self after his injuries in 2012.

Hanson signed with the Texas Rangers, because he things he’ll have a good chance to make the rotation.

"“The Rangers have a great team and we thought that was going to be the best fit for me with being able to go in and make the rotation and be a part of the team, so ultimately we thought that was the best opportunity for me.” said Hanson (MLB Trade Rumors – Zach Links)"

The Texas Rangers signed him to a one year contract that could be as little as $125,000 or as much as $3.6 million.  The contract is structured where the Rangers could release him during spring training and only owe him the 125k.  But if he is able to perform as his former self, he could make the roster by opening day and make $2 million.  Also, the contract includes several incentives that could bump that total to the 3.6 million.  Overall, plenty of incentives for Hanson to do well in spring training and in the majors.

When Hanson was with the Atlanta Braves, he was one of the best pitchers in the rotation.  At the time of the Mark Teixeira trade to the Braves, the Rangers tried to have Hanson included in the deal.  But at that time, Tommy Hanson was one if their top pitching prospects and they didn’t want to let him go.

After a rough year in Los Angeles with the Angels, Hanson is ready for a fresh start.

Early last season Hanson’s stepbrother passed away.  He took some time off, but struggled to return.

"“I had the passing of my brother, and from then on it was just up and down,” Hanson said. “I think it’s a time issue. Mentally I don’t think I was where I needed to be. It wasn’t only me. My whole family was dealing with that, and it’s hard to see your family struggle.” (Star-Telegram – Jeff Wilson)"

Near the end of last season, Hanson was starting to show signs that he was almost back to 100%.  He was finally able to get his fastball back to where it was before the injury in 2012.

Hanson has been able to do this by eliminating a pause he had in his delivery.  Basically, he’s back to the same for he was using when he was very effective with the Braves.

"“I just went back to the basics for me,” Hanson said. “I tried to quicken my arm up, and I think that helped. The last two outings I made out of the bullpen I was throwing a lot harder. It feels good doing that. The ball seems to be coming out good.”  (Star-Telegram – Jeff Wilson)"

Now for Hanson, he’ll have a chance to start fresh and show the Rangers he is a top pitcher like he was with the Braves.  If he can get back to that form, then the Texas Rangers could have bet small and win big.  Hanson has been one of the best.  The injuries and off field issues have caused his decline.

Now healthy and focused, this could be the year he does do that.  Coming into spring training, Hanson will be competing with others to replace the injured Derek Holland.  But that doesn’t bother Hanson.  Hanson said he’s ready to go out there and compete for a spot and that extra competition will give him that extra adrenaline he desires.

In my opinion, the could be one of the best offseason bets that Jon Daniels has made this offseason.  I’m talking about the small bets, here.  For as little as 125k, Daniels will be able to see one of the former top prospects at spring training.  Hanson should have a better year than last year and possibly one of his best since 2011 when he had an ERA of 3.60 and a record of 11-7.

Last year with the Angels, he had an ERA of 5.42 and a record of 4-3.