Over the weekend the Rockies traded catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Dodgers for right-hander Aaron Harang in a swap of unwanted players with sizable contracts. Colorado immediately designated Harang for assignment, showing no intention of him ever pitching for the Rockies, and it looks like they’ll be able to swap him to another team.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox, Twins, and Astros have all shown interest in Harang, which makes sense. Boston’s rotation may have just lost John Lackey and both Minnesota and Houston are short on capable starter depth overall.
Harang is owed $7 million this season with an $8 million mutual option or $2 million buyout for next year, but the Dodgers agreed to pay $4.25 million of that money to get rid of him. Despite being unwanted Harang has been a perfectly good mid-rotation starter for the past two seasons, throwing 350 innings with a 3.62 ERA (and mediocre secondary numbers).
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.