It seemed obvious that the Rockies knew they could find a taker for Aaron Harang when they designated him for assignment immediately after acquiring him from the Dodgers for Ramon Hernandez last week and sure enough Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that they’re close to trading him to the Mariners.
According to Rosenthal the two sides are in the process of getting approval from MLB, which is required whenever a trade involves more than $1 million in cash. Harang is making $7 million this season with a $7 million mutual option or $2 million buyout for 2014, although the Dodgers already chipped in $4.25 million to cover much of that.
Harang falling out of favor with the Dodgers had more to do with their rotation depth than his performance, which has been pretty solid for the past two seasons with a 3.62 ERA in 59 starts. His secondary numbers haven’t been nearly as good, but it won’t be tough for Harang to be an upgrade in Seattle’s rotation.
UPDATE: It’s a done deal. Colorado sends Harang and cash to Seattle for 26-year-old minor-league reliever Steven Hensley, who isn’t much of a prospect.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.