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).