Never have there been so many people speculating about the Texas Rangers signing a guy to a minor-league deal coming off a pretty horrible season. But over hte past few days, the rumor mill was spinning wildly on the Rangers addressing their need for starting pitching by chasing Tommy Hanson.
On Monday, the Rangers agreed to a minor-league deal with Hanson, the former Atlanta Braves pitcher who pitched for the Los Angeles Angels and was bothered by rotator cuff issues while putting up very mediocre numbers.
While there was a lot of talk about Hanson's signing, there might be even more talk if he actually makes the Rangers' opening day roster.
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According to ESPN, Hanson's average fastball velocity has dipped almost 3 mph since 2010, dropping from 92.6 mph to 89.6 this past year with the Angels.
Hanson has been good in the past, finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting with the Braves, when he had a sub-3.00 ERA and an 11-4 record. In 2010 and 2011 he had good years with the Braves before his wheels fell off.
He's definitely a reclamation project, but with his diminishing fastball, it's hard to imagine much coming from him unless there's a major health change all of the sudden.