It was pretty clear that Joel Hanrahan was dealing with a serious injury when the Red Sox moved him to the 60-day disabled list earlier this week, but now we have some clarity on the situation. And it’s not good.
According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Hanrahan confirmed this morning that he will undergo season-ending surgery on his flexor tendon. Hanrahan said that he didn’t really have a choice, as the tendon is “torn off the bone.” Ouch.
Evan Drellich of MassLive.com reports that Hanrahan will likely have the surgery next week. The repair of the flexor tendon will sideline him for six months, though there’s a chance he could also require Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, which would knock him out of action for at least one year.
Hanrahan was acquired from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as Boston’s closer, but he ended up posting a 9.82 ERA and 5/6 K/BB ratio in 7 1/3 innings with the club. The 31-year-old is set to hit the free agent market this winter. It’s worth noting that Mark Melancon, one of the players sent to Pittsburgh in the Hanrahan deal, has a 0.50 ERA and 18/0 K/BB ratio over 18 innings this season.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.