Aaron Harang's Dodger tenure has come to an end, as he has been traded to the Rockies for catcher Ramon Hernandez. Harang is expected to be moved again, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It's mostly a salary relief type of deal for the Rockies, while the Dodgers are clearing up their cluttered starting pitching situation.
Harang inked a two-year, $12 million deal in December of 2011. He was one of the few durable starters for the Dodgers last season, posting 31 starts. In those, he went 10-10 with a 3.61 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 131 strikeouts in 172 2/3 innings. His WHIP was high thanks to a career-high in walks of 85, but his .246 BAA was just shy of his career-best .242 set in 2007 with the Reds.
While he proved to be a solid contributor to the starting rotation, the writing was on the wall that his days of taking the ball to start every fifth day were over. This offseason the Dodgers went out and signed Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu to massive deals, and with Josh Beckett aboard from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, spots were scarce.
The Dodgers tried to compromise by sending Harang to the bullpen to start the season, but he supposedly wasn't thrilled with that. I can't say I blame him, as it was obvious that he can still be a starter somewhere, and that the Dodgers didn't really have a need for him anymore. We all know injuries can, and most likely will, happen, but with Chris Capuano also in the long relief role, the right decision was made to move him elsewhere.
In return the Dodgers get a backup catcher in Hernandez. He was DFA'd by the Rockies before Opening Day when he lost out to Yorvit Torrealba to be Wilin Rosario's backup.
Hernandez had a good couple of season with the Reds in '10 and '11 before moving to the Rockies last season. His numbers in '12 could be a big reason why he became expendable, as he hit only .217 with 5 homers and 28 RBIs in 52 games. The fact that he's turning 37 in May probably didn't do him any favors.
I would think Hernandez's arrival means that departure of Tim Federowicz to Triple-A for now. I'm not sure why the Dodgers would trade for Hernandez if that wasn't going to happen. I really don't see a need to carry three catchers. They could always keep both and get rid of Juan Uribe! But that's just wishful thinking at this point.
With Chad Billingsley due back to start next Wednesday in San Diego, the Dodgers will have another roster move to make. Plus there's the status of Ted Lilly, who's fighting his way back from shoulder surgery last year. In other words, the wheelings and dealings involving the starting pitchers does not appear to be done.