The Chicago White Sox have agreed to sign 27-year-old right-hander Tommy Hanson to a minor league deal, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Hanson had joined the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal earlier this year, but was promptly released just over a week ago after surrendering 14 hits, 5 walks, and 10 runs in 14 Spring Training innings.
Originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, Hanson rose to prospect prominence early in his career, topping out as the 4th best prospect in all of baseball in 2009, as ranked by Baseball America. Hanson was outstanding in his first three big league seasons with the Braves, posting a 3.28 ERA (120 ERA+), 7.9 WAR, and 8.4 K/9 in 460 innings through age 24. However, Hanson has succumbed to a series of injuries since 2011, including a concussion, strained back, and a shoulder that has been likened to shredded beef.
After notching a sub-par 89 ERA+ in 174.2 innings in 2012, the Braves dealt Hanson to the Angels for reliever Jordan Walden last offseason. The trade turned out to be a disaster for the Angels, as Hanson posted a 5.42 ERA in 73 innings pitched while dealing with numerous injuries. The team ultimately non-tendered him in December.
Hanson's injuries have had a significant impact on his velocity over the years, as it has declined at a rapid rate since 2010.
|Year||Average Fastball Velocity||Average Slider Velocity|
|2009||92.2 MPH||83.3 MPH|
|2010||92.7 MPH||84.1 MPH|
|2011||91.1 MPH||81.7 MPH|
|2012||89.6 MPH||80.9 MPH|
|2013||89.9 MPH||79.9 MPH|
Data via Fangraphs
Hanson's addition is a pure depth move for the White Sox, who already have a strong rotation of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Erik Johnson, Felipe Paulino, and John Danks, but don't have many worthwhile options after that quintet.