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Mets watch Joel Hanrahan throw 'light bullpen'

Closer Joel Hanrahan of the Boston Red Sox

Closer Joel Hanrahan of the Boston Red Sox stretches just before the start of the Grapefruit League Spring Training Game against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 20, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. Credit: Getty / J. Meric

So, the Mets have dispatched scouts to Texas to watch Joel Hanrahan during a workout on Friday. Surely, the Mets have the inside track toward signing the former closer, right?

Well, not necessarily.

General manager Sandy Alderson reportedly told season ticket holders on Thursday that scouts would attend a “showcase” for Hanrahan, who is nearing the end of rehab from Tommy John Surgery. He is ahead of schedule and could be ready to pitch in early May, which has created some interest from teams around the league.

However, one of Hanrahan’s agents at Reynolds Sports Management clarified the situation in a statement.

“Reports of a showcase workout with Joel are inaccurate,” wrote Mike Dillon, one of the player’s agents. “Teams that have been interested in watching his light bullpens have been welcome and the Mets are watching him [Friday]. We do not anticipate Joel throwing for multiple clubs in a ‘showcase’ workout until early March when he will be closer to 100 percent.  Having said that, we are excited and very encouraged with Joel’s progress.”

Hanrahan, 32, is a two-time All-Star closer. He saved 40 games for the Pirates in 2011 and followed with 36 more saves in 2012 before the Red Sox acquired him in a trade. But Hanrahan’s elbow injury limited him to just nine appearances.

Nevertheless, Hanrahan could fit with the Mets, who have been seeking veteran arms for the bullpen. Even though Hanrahan isn’t showcase ready, the Mets are believed to have wanted to gauge the pitcher’s progress with their own eyes.


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