Joel Hanrahan

Joel Hanrahan to showcase for teams next week


ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that reliever Joel Hanrahan will showcase for interested teams next week. He lists the Yankees, Mets, Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Athletics, and Rays as interested teams, but not the Tigers or Phillies.

Hanrahan, 32, had Tommy John surgery last May, just a month and change into his first season with the Red Sox. He posted a 9.82 ERA in 7 1/3 innings. After coming over to the Pirates from the Nationals at the end of June 2009, he turned a corner and developed into a lights-out reliever. In 2010, Hanrahan posted a career high in strikeouts (100) and a career-low in walks (26) in 69 2/3 innings. In 2011, the Pirates named him their closer and he posted a 1.83 ERA with 40 saves. The success continued in 2012, when he finished with 36 saves and a 2.72 ERA.

The Red Sox sent Ivan De Jesus, Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, and Jerry Sands to the Pirates in December 2012 to acquire Hanrahan along with Brock Holt.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.