Joe Posnanski had a nice little post this morning on Joakim Soria's very bad 2011. For those of you not following the situation, Soria blew yet another save yesterday afternoon, leading Ned Yost to insert Aaron Crow into the closer role. Last year the Royals were turning down Jesus Montero for Soria, and now the Yankees would laugh if Dayton Moore called up and made that same offer.
Soria isn't the same as Hanrahan - his fastball isn't anywhere near what The Hammer can deploy - but he does illustrate that relief pitchers, even seemingly all-world closers, aren't sure things to stay dominant. I don't have any idea what the Pirates could get for 2.5 years worth of Hanrahan on the open market (although I certainly had a great time researching the Rangers farm system with everyone earlier in the month), but I'd like to find out at the trade deadline. We don't have to trade him any sooner than that - and if the Pirates go on some miracle run through their brutal post-All Star break schedule, you could maybe convince me otherwise - but unless the return is clearly paltry, it would be wise to move Hanrahan before he joins this rather depressing paragraph:
Mark Davis won a Cy Young in 1989, he was all but unpitchable one year later. Bobby Thigpen saved 57 games in 1990, he was was minus-1 Wins Above Replacement for the rest of his career. Bryan Harvey ... Chad Cordero ... J.J. Putz ... Robb Nen ... Michael Jackson ... Derrick Turnbow ... Jeff Russell ... B.J. Ryan ... you can name two dozen others ... they had dominant seasons as closers, some of them had multiple dominant seasons, but then it ended, maybe because of injury, maybe because the league figured them out, or maybe because closers, like running backs and boy bands, live thrilling but short lives.