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Pirates trade rumors: Could Joel Hanrahan be an option for Rangers?

Pirates closer is on the trading block and three teams have interest. The biggest is the Rangers.

Doug Pensinger

The Texas Rangers could be a suitor for Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joel Hanrahan, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.

According to Rosenthal's sources, the Pirates are shopping their closer, and the Rangers, who would like to improve their bullpen, seem to be the team most interested. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers have also been connected to Hanrahan.

The Dodgers and Tigers are among the other teams that have been linked to Hanrahan, though the interest of both clubs is tempered by the closer’s contract status — Hanrahan, 31, is a year from free agency and figures to earn about $7 million in arbitration next season.

On Monday, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler hinted about the Dodgers' interest in Hanrahan.

Where a match could be possible is that the Dodgers are openly shopping starting pitchers Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. The Pirates could use short-term starting pitching help while they wait for the likes of Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole to develop. The only three men who appear set in stone for the Pirates' five-man rotation are A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and JameS McDonald.

Hanrahan has been with the Pirates organization for the last four years. Last season, the 31-year-old righty saved 36 games in 40 chances and compiled a 2.72 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.

Though he's coming off a relatively strong season (despite some struggles with his control), the Pirates are looking to deal him because he's arbitration-eligible this offseason and should get a big pay raise.

In 2011, Hanrahan had a career-high 40 saves with a 1.83 ERA in 68.2 innings pitched.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.