Hanson, 27, has struggled recently, but there have positive signs that he is recovering from the injuries that limited his effectiveness. The Hardball Times' Kyle Boddy notes that Hanson's velocity was trending upward toward the end of the 2013 season.
The rise in velocity wasn't apparent in his ERA, however. He labored ineffectively throughout the season, finishing the year with a 5.42 ERA in 72 innings.
The Rangers aren't taking much of a risk by signing Hanson to a minor league deal, and if he can get back to being the pitcher he was at the beginning of his career, the deal could be a huge win for Texas.
Hanson was a top prospect in the Braves system before reaching the majors in 2009. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting that season, putting together a 2.89 ERA through 21 starts. He followed that up with a strong 2010 performance -- 3.33 ERA in over 200 innings -- but injuries began to take their toll in 2012, and Hanson was shipped to Anaheim for reliever Jordan Walden.
Hanson's agent, Greg Genske, recently said his client was in a "great place mentally and physically." If he has returned to good health, he could make an impact with the Rangers this season.
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