General Manager Dan O’Dowd announced Saturday that the Colorado Rockies had traded catcher Ramon Hernandez, who had been designated for assignment earlier in the week, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return for the veteran catcher, the Rockies received right-handed pitcher Aaron Harang from the Dodgers.
After signing starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu this winter, the Dodgers did not have a spot in the rotation for Harang. So, a trade was eminent.
This move made some sense from Colorado’s perspective, as they have a strong need for pitching, but Harang does have a spot in the Rockies rotation either. It was announced just after the trade that the Rockies designated Harang for assignment, meaning they will have ten days to find a trade partner and get a deal done.
Harang has been around the league for a while, playing for the Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres along with the Dodgers in his 11-year career. He has posted an ERA of 4.19 with a record of 105-104 in those 11 seasons.
Harang is 34 and has seen his fastball velocity decline steadily over the last three years. At best, he is an option at the back-end of a rotation.
When the Dodgers made Harang available, there was minimal interest on the trade market; so, the trade to Colorado came as a little bit of a surprise.
The only team that could be interested in Harang is the Boston Red Sox, who may have an opening in their rotation with the possibility of another arm injury for John Lackey.
If trade cannot be made, I don’t see the Rockies keeping Harang around. It is likely that if a deal doesn’t happen, Harang will be released and given the ability to choose what team he wants to continue his career with.