Mariners acquire Aaron Harang from Rockies

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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 sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.