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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.