Colorado Rockies Trade Aaron Harang to Seattle Mariners

By Al Balderas
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

That didn’t take long.

Aaron Harang, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers less than a week ago, has been given the hot-potato treatment by the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies unloaded Harang on Thursday, dealing him to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for cash and minor league pitcher Steven Hensley.

Harang became a part of the Rockies organization last week but was never destined to play in Colorado. The Rockies designated him for assignment as soon as they closed the deal and were merely looking to shop him around. It seems as if the Mariners are already more interested in Harang than the Rockies were because they immediately opened up a spot for him on their 40-man roster.

But is a right-handed pitcher who is aging and losing his effectiveness by the season worth the credentials of a 26-year-old pitcher who has spent his entire six-year career in the minors? When you look at the struggles of the Rockies’ pitching staff, the deal might have been a smart one. I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Hensley was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 44th round, yes the 44th, of the 2005 amateur draft. He passed. Three years later, the Mariners picked him up in the fourth round of the amateur draft. He has spent his entire career in the minors but reached the Triple-A level midway through last season.

Now here is why and how he might come in handy for the Rockies.

Hensley has some experience as a starting pitcher — an area in which the Rockies could use some help.

Hensley also has experience as a relief pitcher — another area in which the Rockies could use some help.

He started as many as 25 games in 2009 but has not started since making 18 appearances in that capacity in 2011.

The native of North Carolina appeared in 20 games for the Double-A Jackson Generals, and made 24 more appearances after his promotion to Triple-A Tacoma. All were as a reliever.

In two games this season, also at Tacoma, he has pitched 2 2/3 innings and carries a 3.38 ERA.

So is Hensley the answer? Will he come in and turn the Rockies struggling pitching staff around? Will he at least bring some consistency? Is he even ready for the big leagues? Probably not.

But any help is a good thing at this point. And based on what Rockies fans had to watch in those three games in San Francisco earlier in the week, it never hurts to have someone waiting in the wings, even if it’s only a minor-league bullpen.

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