The Pittsburgh Pirates have granted a release to relief pitcher Craig Hansen, Pirates Prospects has learned, after Hansen requested his release. The Pirates originally acquired him as part of the Jason Bay trade, along with Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss, and Bryan Morris. LaRoche, Moss, and Hansen have all been released this off-season.
Hansen started off the 2009 season with the Pirates, but only made five appearances, with a 5.68 ERA in 6.1 innings. After that he went on the disabled list, and was eventually diagnosed with a rare nerve injury, which has put his future in doubt. Hansen missed the rest of the 2009 season, and only pitched in 12 games in 2010, most of those at the high-A level. In those games, he threw 16 innings with a 3.38 ERA. When I saw him at the end of Spring Training, he was only throwing 88-89 MPH, down from the 93-97 MPH range that made him a first round draft pick in 2005, and a top prospect in the Boston Red Sox system.