In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe credits Phillies GM Ruben Amaro for his offseason signing of Aaron Harang. The veteran right-hander has been one of the best pitchers in baseball through the first month of the season after coming to Philly on an affordable one-year, $5MM deal (Harang spoke with MLBTR last month about joining the Phillies). While it’s been tough for Amaro to find the right deal for Cole Hamels, a few more good starts may net him a prospect for Harang. Here’s more from today’s column..
- There have been no calls on Hamels regarding a trade since the last week of March, a Phillies source tells Cafardo. Recently, Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote that rival evaluators believe the pitcher wants out of Philadelphia. Through four starts this season, Hamels has pitched to a 3.75 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.
- Rafael Soriano has returned to the Dominican Republic for workouts as he awaits an MLB opportunity. We learned yesterday that the Twins are among the teams interested in Soriano. The Tigers and Blue Jays would also make sense as potential landing spots for the reliever. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently reported that there has been contact between agent Scott Boras and the Mariners regarding Soriano and the Pirates, Indians, and Dodgers could be “logical suitors.”
- The Red Sox have received kudos from around baseball for signing right-hander Alexi Ogando as a free agent and many teams are now kicking themselves over not signing him. “They’ve used him so well at the beginning of the season, biting off as much as he can chew and slowly but surely increasing to high-leverage situations,” said one National League scout. “He’s got some real action on his fastball and electric stuff at times. He’ll occasionally leave a pitch over the plate, but this is like a bonus guy. A lot of teams missed the boat and the Red Sox were one of the few teams willing to offer a major league deal.”
- When asked if he’d ever want to be a manager, Red Sox special assistant Jason Varitek told Cafardo, “Maybe someday. Not right now.” Varitek wants to watch his kids grow up before possibly pursuing such a role.