Back in 2011, Ryan Vogelsong was the super-happy story to warm our super-fun hearts. He was pitching much better than anyone could have anticipated, and with his manager getting to pick the pitchers for the All-Star Game, well, Vogelsong was an easy All-Star selection to root for. One of the snubs was right-handed starter Tommy Hanson, but I didn't feel too bad about it. He'd have plenty of chances to make the All-Star team.
Bad Grant. Never assume that. Hanson was 10-4 with a 2.44 ERA at the 2011 All-Star break, and his career completely disintegrated after that. He allowed 24 runs in 26⅔ innings after the break before being shut down for the year. Then he suffered through a long, disappointing slog in 2012 before getting traded to the Angels in 2013, where he made 13 mostly awful starts. He couldn't make the Rangers' rotation in 2014 -- "Sorry, way too hurt for us" -- and was dreadful in Triple-A for the White Sox.
He's with the Giants, now.
As with Ricky Romero, the default is probably going to be "Won't work out, but keep a good thought." Hanson is just 28 -- that's a year older than Chris Heston, if you're keeping track -- but his shoulder is more like 45 and a heavy smoker.
But we've already got the Vogelsong reference out of the way, and his complete collapse at Triple-A reminds me of Joe Nathan (and 393,392 other pitchers who never did as well after the collapse), so he's an ultimate youneverknow kind of signing. Maybe a move to the bullpen will do him well. Maybe he'll develop into solid depth. You can see what the Giants are chasing.
Dude's big. Funky delivery. Doesn't need 99 to succeed when he's right. The only question is if he'll ever be right again. It's been three-and-a-half years since Hanson was one of the brightest young pitchers (and most valuable players) in the game. That's a long, long time between valuable seasons, and that story usually doesn't have a happy ending.
But the Giants didn't have to offer a five-year deal to hear it. If you like interesting, low-risk signings -- and they're kind of my obsession -- this is one of the better ones. Work your magic, Giants brass.