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.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.