Aaron Harang Rumors

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).

Rob Antony Talks Twins’ Offseason, Future

For the fourth straight year, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony sat down with Jesse Lund of SB Nation's Twinkie Town to discuss the state of affairs with his team. Antony and Lund discussed the Twins' offseason at length, ranging from the trades of Denard Span and Ben Revere to the Twins' pursuit of starting pitching. Here's a look at some of the highlights, but bear in mind that entire piece is well worth your time…

  • The Twins never intended to trade both Revere and Span, but the Phillies' offer of Trevor May and Vance Worley was too strong not to pull the trigger. Antony identifies May as someone who could get a September call-up in 2013 if he enjoys a strong season.
  • The Twins had conversations with both Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano, but were unable to agree to terms with either one. In particular, the Twins sought a club option for Baker, who wanted strictly a one-year deal. Antony said they didn't want 2013 to "be a donation" to Baker in the event that he wasn't healthy and effective for most of the season. That decision looks wise, with Baker on the 60-day disabled list for the Cubs.
  • Mike Pelfrey identified the Twins as a team he wanted to pitch for and was aggressive in working out a deal, according to Antony. The Twins did quite a bit of homework on Pelfrey's recovery from Tommy John surgery in order to ascertain that the right-hander would indeed be ready for Opening Day, as he promised.
  • The Twins made several "competitive offers" to free agent starting pitchers, in some cases making better offers than the ones those pitchers ultimately took. The Twins had conversations with nearly every free agent starting pitcher and spoke with around 15 agents for pitchers at the Winter Meetings in December.
  • Following the Span trade, most teams didn't believe that the team would also trade Revere. Antony says four teams were in the mix for Revere, but the Phillies were the most aggressive and ultimately landed him with the aforementioned offer.
  • The Twins were willing to do a one-for-one swap of Span and Alex Meyer because they believe Meyer is a legitimate front-of-the-rotation candidate who can be a "dominant" strikeout pitcher.
  • The decision to bring Aaron Hicks north as the team's Opening Day center fielder was a result of Hicks' strong play in Spring Training and his poise off the field. The Twins' front office was never overly concerned with delaying Hicks' free agency by a season: "If he's that good of a player we're going to do what we can to sign him long term and none of that's going to matter."
  • Antony, GM Terry Ryan and the rest of the front office prefer to gradually expose their top prospects to the Major Leagues so as not to field a team of all rookies. Additionally, that line of thinking prevents mass arbitration and free agency issues: "If you can bring a couple guys, a couple rookies in each year, it helps infuse that and it helps to spread it out so that not everybody becomes arbitration eligible at the same time or free agents at the same time, all that stuff."
  • The Twins "admire" the Royals' bullpen of power arms and would like to build a similar bullpen. The team prioritized power arms in the 2012 Draft, selecting a number of hard-throwing college relievers.
  • Antony offered a definitive "No," when asked if the team had interest in Aaron Harang prior to his trade to the Mariners. The Twins feel they have a number of similar arms in the organization already.
  • There's been no contact between the Twins and Jim Thome for "a couple of months," and the two were never on the same page. Minnesota had interest in Thome, but they were far apart in discussions.
  • "It would be great if he could be a Twin for life," Antony said of Justin Morneau. "He's a guy who's meant a lot for this organization and we'd love it if he were to play his entire career here, but you just don't know how things are going to work out in the end."
  • Antony feels that too much has been made of the decision not to extend Ron Gardenhire prior to this season. Many have speculated that Gardenhire is on the hot seat following a pair of 90-loss seasons, but Antony said it was intended to be an organization-wide message that they're looking to get better from top to bottom. He adds that he hopes Gardenhire is the Twins' manager for years to come, and that in three years people are surprised there was even a debate.

Quick Hits: Mets, Harang

The Tidewater Mets may just be the best team you've never heard of, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. With B.J. Upton and David Wright manning the left side of the infield, Ryan Zimmerman was forced to split time at second (with Mark Reynolds), and Justin Upton was relegated to bench duty. Of course, those Mets were a high school travel club. Now, through a combination of the draft, extensions, free agency, and trade, all of those players (excluding Reynolds) are stars on their respective National League East clubs.

  • The New York Mets could be buyers at the trade deadline whether or not the club is in contention, writes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. With Davidoff expecting an active in-season trade market, he says that the Mets could target big bats such as Carlos Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Chase Headley, Giancarlo Stanton, Carl Crawford, Josh Willingham, and Alfonso Soriano. As this outfielder-heavy list suggests, and MLBTR noted earlier today, the Mets appear to be interested in acquiring a premier outfielder.
  • One way or another, Mets fans should prepare for life without a hot-hitting John Buck, writes Daniel Nelson of MetsmerizedOnline.com. If the backstop fails to cool off and return to his historical levels, Nelson believes that the club will likely try to flip him for young talent.
  • Aaron Harang threw 180 innings last year, logging a 3.61 ERA. In 2011, he tossed 170 innings with a 3.64 ERA. Yet the Rockies dumped him to the Mariners right after he was offloaded by the Dodgers. The reason is simple, according to Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner: Harang's worsening walk and strikeout rates make him "basically a worse version of Jon Garland." Of course, Garland joined the Rockies when Seattle let him walk rather than promising a rotation spot.
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik addressed the Harang trade, saying that the deal was motivated in large part by Erasmo Ramirez's health issues, tweets Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio Seattle. The Seattle GM also noted that, if the 34-year-old Harang is not yet ready to start, he will work out of the bullpen until another starter moves there permanently, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com and Drayer. (Twitter links.)

Mariners Acquire Aaron Harang; Designate Loe

The Mariners added rotation depth today, offically acquiring veteran Aaron Harang and cash from the Rockies for minor league reliever Steven Hensley.  The Mariners also announced they've designated Kameron Loe for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot for Harang.


The Rockies acquired Harang and $4.25MM from the Dodgers for catcher Ramon Hernandez last week, and then immediately designated Harang for assignment.  Harang earns $7MM this year and has a $2MM buyout after the season, and the Rockies will send money to the Mariners to cover most of that.  The Rockies will save more than $2MM with the series of trades, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Harang, 35 next month, posted a 3.61 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9, and 38.6% groundball rate in 179 2/3 innings for the Dodgers last year.  His peripheral stats from 2012 suggest an ERA close to 5.00.  This isn't the Harang of his Reds glory days, when he pitched 230 innings a year with around four strikeouts for every walk.  Harang will likely replace Blake Beavan in Seattle's rotation.  Hensley, 26, posted a 6.27 ERA, 5.3 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, and 1.21 HR/9 in 37 1/3 Triple-A innings last year.

Loe, 31, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners in February but allowed six home runs in 6 2/3 innings to start his season.

The Mariners and Rockies last matched up on a trade in December 2010, when Colorado acquired Jose Lopez for Chaz Roe.  More recently, a pitcher jumped from the Mariners to the Rockies when Jon Garland exercised his opt-out clause to leave the Mariners in March and signed with Colorado.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the trade was close.  Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Links: Harang, Span, Romero, Halladay

Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes was surprised when Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports pointed out that his new team is off the the same 2-5 start as the Marlins were a year prior. Reyes, however, isn't worried about his team's outlook: "…there’s no concern at all. There’s way too much talent on this ballclub to continue to play the way we’re playing.” Here are some more links from baseball's two Eastern divisions…

  • WEEI.com's Rob Bradford hears that the Red Sox are not interested in trading for Aaron Harang (Twitter link). Reports over the weekend linked Boston to the recently DFA'ed right-hander.
  • Offseason acquisition Denard Span has given the Nationals a "new kind of offensive identity," writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The presence of Span and Jayson Werth atop the lineup forces pitchers to work, given the high volume of pitches the pair averages per plate appearance. Werth and Adam LaRoche both offer high praise for the Nats' new leadoff man, who was acquired from the Twins for Alex Meyer this offseason.
  • Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca chronicles the early work that former Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero has done so far in his attempts to rediscover his mechanics. As Dividi notes, given the $7.5MM owed to Romero in each of the next three seasons, Toronto has no reason to rush and every reason to make sure they get it right.
  • Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that struggling ace Roy Halladay will have as long of a leash as he needs to get things sorted out: "If he needs 30 starts he’ll get it. As long as he’s healthy and he keeps working at it — as much as he needs."
  • Chris Dickerson is set to be added to the Orioles' 40-man and 25-man roster today, but speculation that it could result in a Steve Pearce DFA doesn't make sense, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports, who hears that the upcoming move won't involve Pearce.

Mariners Close To Acquiring Aaron Harang

The Mariners are close to acquiring righty Aaron Harang from the Rockies, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  He says the teams are working through the final details, including approval from the commissioner's office, since the Rockies will be sending cash in the deal.  Rosenthal adds that the Rockies will receive a minor league right-handed reliever from the Mariners in the trade.    

The Rockies acquired Harang and $4.25MM from the Dodgers for catcher Ramon Hernandez last week, and then immediately designated Harang for assignment.  Harang earns $7MM this year and has a $2MM buyout after the season, and the Rockies will send money to the Mariners to cover some of that. The Rockies will have saved close to $2.5MM in the series of trades, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, implying they're sending around $5MM to the Mariners in this trade.  That would leave Seattle paying about $4MM to Harang.

Harang, 35 next month, posted a 3.61 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9, and 38.6% groundball rate in 179 2/3 innings for the Dodgers last year.  His peripheral stats from 2012 suggest an ERA close to 5.00.  This isn't the Harang of his Reds glory days, when he pitched 230 innings a year with around four strikeouts for every walk.  Harang will likely replace Blake Beavan in Seattle's rotation.

The Mariners and Rockies last matched up on a trade in December 2010, when Colorado acquired Jose Lopez for Chaz Roe.  More recently, a pitcher jumped from the Mariners to the Rockies when Jon Garland exercised his opt-out clause to leave the Mariners in March and signed with Colorado.

Originally published April 11th, 2013 at 12:38pm.

Red Sox, Twins, Astros Interested In Harang

The Red Sox, Twins and Astros are all interested in trading for Aaron Harang, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). The Rockies hold Harang's trade rights after recently acquiring him from the Dodgers for catcher Ramon Hernandez, although the Rockies designated Harang for assignment immediately after the deal.

Harang pitched 179 2/3 innings for the Dodgers in 2012, posting a 3.61 ERA, 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. The Dodgers had an abundance of starting pitching and didn't have much use for him in 2013, and given his age (34) and declining peripherals (not to mention the fact that the Rockies have already designated him for assignment), it's unlikely even a team in need of pitching would be willing to give up much for him. The fact that the Dodgers are paying $4.25MM of the $7MM he's owed in 2013 (he also has a $2MM buyout and a mutual option for 2014) should make him a somewhat more attractive trade target, however.

The Red Sox could be looking for a replacement for John Lackey, who left his start Saturday with an injury. Alfredo Aceves currently appears likely to take Lackey's place. The Twins and Astros both have weak rotations and could use a veteran to eat innings, although Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis wrote Saturday (on Twitter) that a Twins official said the team was not interested in Harang.

Quick Hits: Rockies, Indians, Pujols, Cubs

The Rockies' decision to designate Aaron Harang for assignment after trading Ramon Hernandez for him shows that Colorado likes the pitchers it already has, MLB.com's Thomas Harding argues. The Rockies will stick with their rotation of Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio, Jeff Francis and Jon Garland. Behind them at Triple-A Colorado Springs, the Rockies have youngsters Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Tyler Chatwood, along with veteran Aaron Cook. "We're happy with our guys," Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations Bill Geivett says. "Whether it was Chacin who missed a lot of time, or De La Rosa who missed a lot of time, or Nicasio who missed a lot of time, there's some ring-rust that comes with a new season and not having a full season last year. At the same time, we're confident in them." Here are more notes from around the majors.

  • Indians GM Chris Antonetti and his front office sometimes try to "cram six pounds of smart into a five-pound bag," the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes says. The decision to begin the season short-handed, as they carried Carlos Carrasco on their 25-man roster while he served a suspension, came back to bite the Indians, says Hoynes. The trouble began when Scott Kazmir hurt his ribcage on Monday, which forced the Indians to activate him so they could backdate his stay on the disabled list. That meant they had to option Nick Hagadone, who was supposed to provide bullpen depth in a week in which, as it turns out, they could have used it, as they played an 11-inning game Wednesday and a high-scoring game Thursday. The Indians ultimately had Trevor Bauer start Saturday night, and he walked seven while allowing three runs in five innings. 
  • Albert Pujols says he won't allow his ten-year, $240MM contract with the Angels to become a burden, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. "God has given me ability and talent, but the day I feel like I can't compete any more on this level, I'm not going to embarrass myself," says Pujols, who hit "only" .285/.343/.516 in the first year of his contract in 2012. DiGiovanna clarifies that Pujols isn't suggesting he has plans to retire, but rather that pride compels him to play his best and try to prove his critics wrong.
  • The Cubs are currently looking at six MLB Draft prospects, says MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Their list includes Stanford pitcher Mark Appel (who is currently generally regarded as the top talent available), along with Georgia high school outfielders Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier. The Cubs pick second in the draft, which will be held in early June.

Dodgers Acquire Ramon Hernandez For Aaron Harang

Two division rivals were able to turn their surpluses into useful parts with a trade this afternoon.  The Dodgers will receive catcher Ramon Hernandez with starter Aaron Harang and $4.25MM heading to Colorado.

However, Harang probably won't stay in Colorado for long.  Soon after the deal, the Rockies announced that they designated the hurler for assignment.  They'll look to find a taker for him over the next ten days and unload his contract.

The right-hander was one of the club's surplus starters and was less-than-thrilled about having to come out of the bullpen in 2013.  The veteran posted a 3.61 ERA for the Dodgers last season with 6.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 across 179 2/3 innings of work.  The Rockies already are hearing from teams with interest in Harang and the Red Sox are one possibility as they look for a John Lackey replacement.

Harang signed a backloaded two-year, $12MM deal prior to the 2012 season. The deal paid him $3MM last year and $7MM this year with a $2MM buyout if his mutual option for 2014 is not exercised.  If his option is triggered, it could be worth $7MM-$8MM depending on his performance.  With the $2MM buyout off of the Dodgers' books, they'll wind up saving some money in luxury tax penalties next season.

The Rockies designated Hernandez for assignment just prior to Opening Day.  The catcher posted a .217/.247/.353 batting line in 184 at bats in 2012.  Colorado had a surplus of catchers and Hernandez was the odd man out after Yorvit Torrealba beat him out for a spot on the Opening Day roster.  

The Rockies inked the backstop to a two-year, $6.4MM deal after the 2011 season.  With the Dodgers, Hernandez can be expected to serve as added support for A.J. Ellis along with current understudy Tim Federowicz.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers still have a pair of extra starters in Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly.  Unlike Harang, Capuano has said that he is comfortable with serving as a reliever for the overloaded Dodgers.  General Manager Ned Colletti also had said that he enjoys having rotation depth, you can expect both pitchers to attract interest from clubs in need of a starter.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter) first reported that Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers.  Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links) reported that Harang was going to the Rockies in the deal along with the cash considerations.  Additional details provided by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).