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).
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.