Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times is reporting that the Dodgers and Reds are discussing a possible trade of starter Aaron Harang. Hernandez got this from “multiple baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.” Totally senstive. I mean, last time someone let a loose word slip about Aaron Harang a Nazi sub sank a troop transport in the north Atlantic and we lost 400 of our bravest fighting men.
Top secrecy aside, Harang was an above average horse for several years before some arm trouble — brought on by some overuse in my view — has led to a couple of pretty disappointing seasons. He’s slated to make $12.5 million next season. If he’s traded, the $12.75 million he’s owed for 2011 becomes a mutual option with a $2.5 million buyout. He also could pass himself off as Vincent Schiavelli’s son if he wanted to, and Vincent Schiavelli was pretty damn cool, God rest his soul.
Why a team in the sort of financial straits the Dodgers are in wants to acquire an average-at-best, Vincent Schiavelli lookalike workhorse for at least $15 million is beyond me, but I’m just a lowly blogger who don’t know nothin’ about anything.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.