Kansas City has signed veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Hernandez is coming off a two-year, $6.4 million contract with the Rockies, but he only made it through one season in Colorado before they cut him loose. Last year he played briefly for the Dodgers, but at age 38 he’s strictly a potential backup now.
Hernandez will compete with Brett Hayes and Francisco Pena to play once or twice per week behind starter Salvador Perez.
Adrian Gonzalez is not in tonight’s lineup for their match-up against the Giants tonight due to neck pain. Neck pain caused by an umpire, according to Ken Gurnick.
Gonzalez’s absence forces Jerry Hairston to move from left field to first base, and Skip Schumaker from the bench to left. They will play tonight’s game with just three healthy bench players: Justin Sellers, Juan Uribe, and Ramon Hernandez. They currently have seven players on the disabled list and are dealing with the day-to-day status of Carl Crawford — out of the lineup tonight due to a hamstring injury — and Juan Uribe as well.
As for the Dodger first baseman, Gonzalez is enjoying lots of success thus far, carrying a .330 average in 112 trips to the dish.
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.
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).
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.