Tigers sign Joel Hanrahan to one-year, $1 million contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers bullpen could certainly use some help.

The Detroit Tigers have agreed to sign reliever Joel Hanrahan, as first reported by CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. The deal is a one-year, major league contract that will guarantee $1 million and could pay an additional $2 million in incentives, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

There is no set timetable for Hanrahan's return, meaning that the former All-Star will be allowed to take his time working his way through the Tigers' minor league ranks before joining the major league team at some point this season. He will begin on the disabled list for the Tigers, and use his time in the minors as his spring training.

Detroit's bullpen has been a mess so far in 2014. Free agent signings Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain have struggled in the early going, and veterans like Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque have struggled as well.

Hanrahan hasn't pitched in the majors in almost a full year. His last appearance was on May 6, 2013 with the Red Sox. After an elbow injury sidelined him, he went to Dr. James Andrews and underwent Tommy John surgery on May 17.

Before being traded to Boston, Hanrahan put together an excellent stretch with the Pittsburgh Pirates, saving 76 games and posting a 2.24 ERA in 2011 and 2012. The Red Sox sent Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan DeJesus, and Jerry Sands to Pittsburgh in order to acquire him. Hanrahan threw just 7⅓ innings for Boston before hitting the disabled list.

Hanrahan, 32, had received significant interest from several teams including the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers and Rockies after showcasing himself at the University of Tampa in April. Nearly 20 teams reportedly showed interest, but it appears as though the Tigers were in a dire enough situation to top the competition.

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