UPDATE: The Rockies have already designated Harang for assignment.
3:16 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Rockies will get right-hander Aaron Harang in return, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that they don’t plan to keep him.
Harang, who turns 35 in May, posted a 3.61 ERA and 131/85 K/BB ratio over 179 2/3 innings last season. Because of the Dodgers’ starting pitching depth, he began this season in the bullpen. Colorado appeared to be a curious fit for his skill set, as he is known as a fly ball pitcher, but apparently he will be on the move again soon.
Harang is owed $7 million this season in the final guaranteed year of his contract. His mutual option includes a $2 million buyout.
2:40 PM: According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Dodgers have acquired veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies. The deal hasn’t been officially announced, but the Rockies are expected to get some salary relief in the deal.
Hernandez was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week after losing out to Yorvit Torrealba for the backup catcher job. The 36-year-old backstop .217/.247/.353 with five home runs and a .601 OPS in 52 games last season while battling hand and hamstring injuries. He’s owed $3.2 million this season in the final year of his contract.
Hernandez will presumably replace Tim Federowicz as A.J. Ellis’ backup catcher.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.