Joel Hanrahan had two excellent seasons in Pittsburgh in 2011 and 2012, before losing much of 2013 to Tommy John surgery.
Hanrahan chose not to sign with a club this off-season while he continued to make his way back, instead choosing to showcase his ability in a workout after the season began. Approximately 20 teams attended the workout, and many came away impressed.
Meanwhile, the Tigers bullpen has been off a rough start in 2014, currently ranking 29th in MLB with a 5.37 ERA. While Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain have appeared to settle into the late inning roles after rocky starts, much of the rest of the bullpen remains in flux.
For his career, Hanrahan has a 3.85 ERA, including 100 saves, most of which he earned in 2011 and 2012 as the Pirates' closer.
In the afternoon press conference announcing the signing, Hanrahan stated "Definitely excited to be a part of the Tigers," continuing, "I had them pinpointed at the beginning of free agency."
Hanrahan also credited Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter for recruiting and selling him on Detroit.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but USA Today reported that Hanrahan will receive a $1 million base salary, with the opportunity earn an additional $2 million in incentives.
Hanrahan has reported to Lakeland where he'll be placed on the disabled list and continue to rehab and work his way back. There's no timetable for his debut in Detroit, but both sides mentioned a timeframe in the four-to-six week range, leaving a June debut likely.
The Tigers later announced that they had outrighted the contract of Mike Belfiore to Toledo.