Transaction Blog: Tigers Bring Back Hanrahan

In addition to officially announcing the signing of Victor Martinez, the Tigers also brought back right-hander Joel Hanrahan on a minor league deal with plenty of big league incentives.

November 14 12:00 PM

Re-signed Victor Martinez (DH) to a four-year, $68 million deal

Re-signed Joel Hanrahan (RHP) to a one-year minor league contract valued at $1 million, with Major League incentives valued at $2.5 million


The news of the Martinez deal broke earlier in the week, but was made official on Friday. The deal makes Martinez the largest contract ever given to a designated hitter in history, with the average annual value of the deal sitting at $17 million. Owner Mike Ilitch made a rare public appearance at the signing press conference, reinforcing his desire to win now and putting his money where his mouth is in the process. The deal will obviously help keep the Tigers competitive in 2015, but presents major risks at the back end of the deal, when V-Mart will be 39 years old.

The Tigers also made their first move to the bullpen, but it wasn’t a blockbuster, simply bringing back Hanrahan on a minor league contract. The club liked what they saw out of Hanrahan when they signed him last May and hoped he could contribute down the stretch, but his recovery from Tommy John surgery didn’t go as smoothly as planned, and he was eventually shut down before ever making a big league appearance. The Tigers are optimistic that with several more months of rest and recovery, he’ll be ready to compete for a bullpen job in spring training. The risk here becomes that he still might not be, and might not ever be, and can’t fully be counted on to fill a role just yet.

November 13 12:00 PM

Traded Devon Travis (2B) to Toronto for Anthony Gose (OF)


As noted in the trade recap, while this deal received major headlines along the lines of the Tigers trading their top prospect for a starting center fielder, that might be pushing things on both sides. Gose is still very limited offensively, while TigsTown continues Travis someone in the neighborhood of the top ten, not a top prospect. But, it still provides the Tigers with a good defensive option for center and potentially a platoon option. While Gose has a career .633 OPS, he has been much more effective against right-handers, which has been primarily how the Jays used him in three years of sharing time.

October 31 3:00 PM

Activated Drew VerHagen (RHP), Bruce Rondon (RHP), Luke Putkonen (RHP) and Jose Iglesias (SS) from 60-day disabled list and placed on 40-man roster

Extended qualifying offers to Victor Martinez (DH) and Max Scherzer (RHP)

Outrighted Don Kelly (UT) to Toledo

Outrighted Evan Reed (RHP) to Toledo

Placed Andy Dirks (OF) on irrevocable waivers; claimed by Toronto Blue Jays

Placed Pat McCoy (LHP) on irrevocable waivers; claimed by Baltimore Orioles

Purchased the contract of Wynton Bernard (OF) from West Michigan and placed on Detroit’s 40-man roster

Released Manuel Joseph (OF/SS)


Many of the moves announced on Friday were of a housekeeping nature; opening up roster spots and preparing for free agency. The decision to extend qualifying offers to Scherzer and Martinez also comes as no surprise, as the Tigers hope to retain both players, and if they don’t, will receive draft pick compensation in return. The various other moves leave the 40-man roster sitting at 36 active players, before any additional Rule 5 Draft protection decisions are made.

The decision to place Dirks on waivers though is a surprise, after he entered 2014 with the expectation of being a most days starter in the outfield. Instead, he battled more injuries, a continuing hurdle for him, and likely the reason the Tigers elected to move on, as they simply couldn’t rely on him to be healthy for a 162-game season.

The second surprise move was the decision to add Bernard to the 40-man roster. Bernard would basically have qualified as a journeyman minor leaguer entering the spring, when he was signed in an open tryout. TigsTown was the first to point out how impressive he looked in spring camp, and that he’d likely be a major contributor to the Whitecaps, though no one could have predicted by would be crowned Midwest League MVP. Still, to protect a player on the 40-man indicates a belief that he could contribute to the big league club soon, and that would seem to be a stretch for a player like him.

Finally, not publicized with the rest of the moves, but the Tigers elected to release Joseph, who was named the DSL Tigers Player of the Year by the TigsTown this summer. Joseph excelled at the plate and was one of the best players in the DSL, but the Tigers made the decision to let him go due to some off the field concerns.

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