Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times is reporting that the Dodgers and Reds are discussing a possible trade of starter Aaron Harang. Hernandez got this from “multiple baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.” Totally senstive. I mean, last time someone let a loose word slip about Aaron Harang a Nazi sub sank a troop transport in the north Atlantic and we lost 400 of our bravest fighting men.
Top secrecy aside, Harang was an above average horse for several years before some arm trouble — brought on by some overuse in my view — has led to a couple of pretty disappointing seasons. He’s slated to make $12.5 million next season. If he’s traded, the $12.75 million he’s owed for 2011 becomes a mutual option with a $2.5 million buyout. He also could pass himself off as Vincent Schiavelli’s son if he wanted to, and Vincent Schiavelli was pretty damn cool, God rest his soul.
Why a team in the sort of financial straits the Dodgers are in wants to acquire an average-at-best, Vincent Schiavelli lookalike workhorse for at least $15 million is beyond me, but I’m just a lowly blogger who don’t know nothin’ about anything.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.