The Texas Rangers have asked the Pittsburgh Pirates about reliever Joel Hanrahan, Ken Rosenthal reports.â†µ
The Rangers, according to a major league source, have made low-level inquiries on Hanrahan, who is 13 for 13 in save opportunities this season with a 1.66 ERA.â†µ
As Rosenthal suggests elsewhere, the Pirates won't give Hanrahan up without getting a serious return. Not only is he flat-out good, but he's also under team control through 2013. And on top of that, the Pirates have been semi-competitive this year, with Sunday's loss to the Tigers putting them at just two games below .500. Bucs general manager Neal Huntington has proven he's willing to make massively unpopular trades, but we'll see if it's different this year. While the Rangers have more than enough prospects in their system to provide the Pirates with good value for Hanrahan, such a trade would be hard to sell to the fans unless the Pirates got back something like a good, young major-league-ready shortstop, for example, and the Rangers really don't have one of those.â†µ
This doesn't mean Huntington won't go ahead and trade Hanrahan for young prospects. But it might be a harder decision for him than similar trades he's made in the past.