Aaron Harang Rumors

Quick Hits: Hardy, Gonzalez, Hanrahan, Davis, Harang

The Orioles are in Boston for a wraparound series with the Red Sox culminating tomorrow on Patriots' Day. Mike Seal, the agent for J.J. Hardy is in Boston this weekend, but the Orioles shortstop says it's not for extension talks. "He's here because his wife is running in the marathon, so he came out for this series to watch his wife run," Hardy told reporters, including MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. "There's been nothing. My agent's here now and he hasn't said anything to me the last month or so. There's been no contact. Usually, he gives me the 'still nothing.' I think it's even past that now to where it's like, he doesn't even need to tell me."

Elsewhere around baseball this Easter Sunday:

  • Tigers President/CEO/General Manager Dave Dombrowski couldn't wait any longer to see if Alex Gonzalez would turn things around, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
  • A reader asked John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter) if there's any chance the Reds might go after Gonzalez in light of Zack Cozart's struggles. That's doubtful, in Fay's mind, because Gonzalez doesn't offer much range at the shortstop position. Fay, in a second tweet, also doesn't see the Reds signing Joel Hanrahan
  • In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculates, after impressing teams in his latest audition, Hanrahan could hold out for a Major League contract. The veteran worked out for 18 clubs and impressed with the depth of his secondary pitches. 
  • There's no guarantee Ike Davis will see another 32-home run season with the Pirates; but, if it happens, the Mets will be reminded about it frequently, writes David Lennon of Newsday. However, the Mets finally decided on a course of action rather than have uncertainty at first and they must be prepared to live with the fallout.
  • Davis is eager to play more often as a member of the Pirates, writes Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It was pretty negative over there [with the Mets] for me for a little while," Davis said. "Hopefully, I can come here and hear some positive energy and start building forward and start playing better.
  • Did the Indians make a mistake by not keeping Aaron Harang? The veteran pitched seven hitless innings for the Braves on Friday, but Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer defends the Tribe's decision. The 36-year-old, he notes, didn't set the world on fire last season and his release allowed the Indians to see what Carlos Carrasco can offer as a starter.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Braves Sign Aaron Harang

7:17pm: The Braves have announced that Harang has agreed to a MLB deal with the club. 

6:09pm: The Braves have agreed to sign pitcher Aaron Harang, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Atlanta had been rumored to be interested in adding another arm after parting with veteran Freddy Garcia earlier today (per MLB.com's Mark Bowman, on Twitter).

Of course, Harang himself was let go by the Indians just hours ago after requesting his release. The soon-to-be-36-year-old had strong results in the spring, though he threw just 9 innings for Cleveland. Last year, pitching for the Mariners and Mets, Harang posted a 5.40 ERA in 143 1/3 innings. Before that, however, he put up two consecutive seasons of 170+ innings and earned run averages just over 3.60. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, advanced metrics pegged his value somewhere in the middle, with FIP, xFIP, and SIERA marks all falling above 4.00 but below 5.00 over the last three campaigns.


Indians Release Aaron Harang

Righty Aaron Harang asked for and was granted his release from the Indians, tweets MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  The move was expected after Harang was told yesterday he would not make the team's Opening Day roster.  Even if Harang was willing to go to Triple-A, the Indians likely would have released him rather than paying the $100K retention bonus.

Harang, 36 in May, signed a minor league deal with Cleveland in February and allowed two runs in nine innings this spring.  The veteran posted a 5.40 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.63 HR/9, and 36% groundball rate in 143 1/3 innings for the Mariners and Mets last year.



AL Notes: Pierzynski, Harang, Ichiro, Orioles, Rangers

New Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is virtually the peer of special advisor Jason Varitek — the two are only four years apart in age. But Pierzynski has still sought out Varitek's advice this spring, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. "He’s one of those guys, he came before me, so you kind of always looked up to him," Pierzynski says. "To be able to be in the same organization and be able to talk to him and learn things from him, it's huge. You can always get better and he was one of the best, so anything he can bring to the table to help me I’m definitely going to take and use." Here are more notes from the American League.

  • The Indians have told starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who had been competing for their fifth starter job, that he won't make the team's 25-man roster, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets. Harang has the ability to opt out of minor-league deal on Monday.
  • The Yankees are willing to eat part of Ichiro Suzuki's $6.5MM 2014 salary in the right trade, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. No deal appears to be imminent, however. Ichiro, who hit .262/.297/.342 with the Yankees in 2013, does not have a starting role this season.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter says "vultures" are interested in his team's out-of-options players, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes. "I know a lot of vultures are lurking around with our out-of-option guys. We've got quite an attendance here," Showalter says. "I get a list of the scouts every day, and if anything, it's gotten more. We had 17 here the other day." Two weeks ago, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted that the Orioles' out-of-options players included Edgmer Escalona, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Troy Patton, Nolan Reimold, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, David Lough, Brian Matusz, Steve Pearce, Francisco Peguero and Josh Stinson. Obviously, the Orioles are in no danger of losing someone like Davis, and Escalona and Peguero appear likely to start the season on the disabled list. But the Orioles will have to make decisions about players like Pearce and some of the pitchers. The team recently designated another out-of-options player, Kelvin De La Cruz, for assignment.
  • "I thought way too short term with the Garza deal last year.  That one's got a chance to haunt us and haunt me," Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic in reference to his trade with the Cubs.  Daniels gave up C.J. Edwards, Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez for Garza.  Olt could soon make an impact in the big leagues, but it's Edwards and Ramirez who might turn out to be the keys to the deal — Edwards was terrific down the stretch last year for Class A+ Daytona, and Ramirez has pitched well in spring training after posting a terrific strikeout rate in Double-A last season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Indians Sign Aaron Harang

MONDAY: Harang will earn a $1MM base salary if he makes the team, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

SATURDAY: Veteran starting pitcher Aaron Harang is in camp with the Indians after agreeing to a minor-league deal, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets. Harang is represented by ACES.

Harang, who will be 36 in May, pitched 143 1/3 innings for the Mariners and Mets in 2013, posting a 5.40 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. The fly ball pitcher allowed also allowed 26 homers. The Indians currently have Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar and Zach McAllister penciled into four spots in their rotation. Carlos Carrasco is out of options and could win the fifth starter job, although Harang could join Shaun Marcum, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin as potential contenders as well.


Central Notes: Samardzija, Pirates, Harang

Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija isn't optimistic that he'll be able to work out a contract extension with the Cubs, and is preparing for the possibility of a trade, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The two sides continue to disagree about Samardzija's worth, and it appears the sticking points are Samardzija's belief that his value will continue to increase, and his concerns about the organization's rebuilding plan. "Both sides are justified; it’s not like anyone is asking for some outlandish concept," he says. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Despite a quiet offseason, Pirates GM Neal Huntington believes his team is well-positioned, MLB.com's Mike Bauman writes. The Pirates did not add any impact talent over the offseason, and replaced A.J. Burnett with Edinson Volquez. Nonetheless, Huntington cites owner Bob Nutting's willingness to spend on aspects of the franchise unrelated to Major-League payroll, such as drafting, Latin American bonuses, scouting and player development, as crucial to the Pirates' success. And at the big-league level, Huntington feels the Pirates' offense should improve in 2014.
  • Despite ties to manager Terry Francona, new minor-league signee Aaron Harang doesn't have the inside track on the Indians' fifth-starter job, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "Nothing has changed from what we've said about Carlos [Carrasco] or Josh [Tomlin]. We're just trying to have depth," says Francona. "We were very honest with Aaron. He's going to get a chance to show what he can do."

Minor Moves: Jhan Marinez, Aaron Harang

Here are Sunday's minor moves from around MLB:

  • The White Sox outrighted reliever Jhan Marinez to Triple-A Charlotte, according to MLB.com's transaction page. Marinez posted a 6.11 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 for Charlotte in 2013. He had big-league cameos with the White Sox in 2012 and Marlins in 2010. The White Sox acquired him from Miami when they sent Ozzie Guillen to the Fish after the 2011 season.
  • The Mets tweeted right-hander Aaron Harang will join the club tomorrow along with catcher Juan Centeno and outfielder Mike Baxter. Neither Harang nor Centeno are on the Mets' 40-man roster and, with no openings, corresponding moves will need to be made. Harang was signed to a minor league deal by the Mets a week ago today and appeared in just one game at Triple-A Las Vegas: four innings, two runs (both earned), seven hits (one home run), five strikeouts, and one walk. Harang made 22 starts for the Mariners this year. In 120 1/3 innings, the 35-year-old posted a 5.76 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 2.1 BB/9.

Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.


Minor Moves: Aaron Harang

Here's a look at today's minor moves from around baseball.

  • The Mets tweet that they have signed starting pitcher Aaron Harang to a minor-league deal. He has been assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mariners recently released Harang, who had posted a 5.76 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 120 1/3 innings for them this season. It remains to be seen how the Mets will use Harang, but their rotation has been wracked by injuries. Las Vegas has also clinched the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division and is about to begin its playoff run.

 


Mariners Release Aaron Harang

SUNDAY, 9:20am: The MLB transactions page reflects that Harang has been released.

MONDAY, 5:18pm: The Mariners announced that they have designated Aaron Harang for assignment.  In a related move, outfielder Franklin Gutierrez has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Harang, 35, had a 5.76 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 22 starts this season.  The veteran had solid numbers with the Padres and Rockies in the previous two seasons (3.62 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9) but has been unable to replicate that with the M's.  He could be on his way to joining a fourth team in 2013 – the Dodgers traded Harang to the Rockies for Ramon Hernandez in April and Colorado flipped him to the M's just days later.  Harang's stay with in Colorado was brief, however, and he never got to pitch for the Rockies. 

For the status of all players in DFA Limbo, be sure to check out MLBTR's DFA Tracker.


Placed On Revocable Waivers: Gonzalez, Polanco, Harang

Each August, teams will place a large number of players on revocable waivers to gauge interest in their trade value. Because the waivers are revocable, if a claiming team doesn't make a suitable offer, the player's original team can simply pull him back for nothing. Should that player be placed on waivers a second time, they are then irrevocable, so most players only hit waivers once. Should that player clear waivers, however, he's eligible to be traded to any team.

For more info on how waiver trades work, refer to the August trade primer that I posted yesterday. In the meantime, here is Friday's list of players who have reportedly been placed on revocable waivers…

  • Mike Gonzalez: The 35-year-old Gonzalez was the most likely trade candidate of this group in July and is therefore the most likely to be claimed. He's earning a $2.25MM base salary this season, of which roughly $713K remains (his contract also contains incentives). He's appeared in a league-leading 54 games this season, en route to a 3.76 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 through 38 1/3 innings.
  • Placido Polanco: Polanco, 37, is on a one-year deal worth $2.75MM with the Marlins. He's owed about $872K over the rest of the season but is hitting just .259/.313/.301. UZR hasn't been a fan of his glove work at third this season, but The Fielding Bible still considers him a plus defender.
  • Aaron Harang: The 35-year-old Harang is owed roughly $2.22MM through the end of the season plus a $2MM buyout of his mutual option. He's posted a 4.89 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 95 2/3 innings since being acquired by Seattle, and advanced metrics like FIP (4.32) and xFIP (4.27) feel his ERA should be lower. A claim seems unlikely given his salary.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe was the first to report that Gonzalez, Polanco and Harang were among today's waived players (Twitter link).