3:55 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi says it’ll be a two-year deal. Probably another Frank McCourt special: $2 million the first year, $8 million the second.
3:35 p.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Dodgers and Harang have agreed to terms. No money yet, but it’s probably a one-year deal. Harang will fit in at the back of the rotation, likely pushing young Nathan Eolvaldi back to Triple-A.
3:25 p.m. EST update: Sources tell FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that the Dodgers and Harang are making progress on a deal.
The Dodgers appear to have a full rotation after signing Chris Capuano to go along with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Nathan Eolvaldi, but according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, they’re showing interest in Aaron Harang.
It’d be a great fit for Harang, who wants to stay on the West Coast after signing with the Padres a year ago. He would have preferred San Diego brought him back, but the Padres declined a $5 million option for 2012. Harang will likely want a similar amount to sign on with the Dodgers.
Harang went 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA for the Padres last season, though it’s well worth noting that he had a 4.70 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP away from Petco Park. He’s not necessarily an upgrade on Eovaldi, a soon-to-be 22-year-old right-hander had a 3.63 ERA in six starts and four relief appearances for the Dodgers last season.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.