The Mets are expected to be in attendance a few weeks from now when free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan holds a showcase for interested teams. According to a source, Hanrahan has remained on the Mets’ radar since they dispatched scouts in February to one of the reliever’s throwing sessions.
General manager Sandy Alderson said last week that the Mets would most likely stick with their own internal bullpen options, though the team would monitor the market.
Hanrahan, 32, is nearing a return from Tommy John Surgery that limited him to just nine appearances last season with the Red Sox.
Hanrahan owns a 3.85 ERA over parts of 12 big league seasons with the Nationals, Pirates and Red Sox. But most of his success came with Pittsburgh, where he made consecutive All-Star teams in 2011 and 2012. As a closer during that span, Hanrahan compiled 76 saves.
An agreement could make sense for the Mets and Hanrahan, whose fastball prior to surgery hovered in the 96-97 mph range.
Hanrahan would benefit from a chance to work in the back end of the bullpen, allowing him to rebuild his value after his injury. With closer Bobby Parnell set to undergo season-ending Tommy John Surgery, the Mets could use another arm to work in high-leverage situations.
In Parnell’s absence, veteran Jose Valverde has moved into the closer’s role. But without an established setup man, Mets manager Terry Collins will be forced to mix and match.
To bolster the bullpen, the Mets will eventually draw upon their group of pitching prospects at Triple-A Las Vegas. But those moves aren’t expected until later in the season.