Monday, December 5, 2011

Aaron Harang close to signing with Dodgers

Jim Bowden of ESPN L.A. tweeted today the Dodgers and Aaron Harang are close to a deal. Jon Paul Morosi tweeted the deal is expected to be for two years.

Adding Harang would be a nice way to cope with the loss of Hiroki Kuroda, whose salary demands were too much for the Dodgers to handle.

Harang would step in as the Dodgers' No. 4 or No. 5 starter, setting the 2012 rotation. I'm sure the contract is backloaded and not for a lot of money, so this is probably a good deal.

The biggest concern for Harang is the number of home runs he gives up. For his career, his 1.2 HR/9 is not great. Teamed with Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano, the Dodgers have the potential to give up a lot of home runs. Luckily, Dodger Stadium gives up the 11th-fewest home runs of any ballpark in the Majors.

Also, his K/9 rate has dipped considerably from even two years ago (7.9 in 2009 to 6.6 in 2010 to 6.5 in 2011). His walk rate has also increased a bit in that time (2.4 to 3.1 the last two seasons). Still, as a No. 5 starter, the Dodgers could do a lot worse.

With this signing, here's hoping Ned Colletti doesn't go after his precious "veteran" middle reliever. With Nathan Eovaldi shifting to the bullpen, the Dodgers don't need another reliever.

Dodgers' bullpen
Scott Elbert
Javy Guerra
Matt Guerrier
Blake Hawksworth
Kenley Jansen
Josh Lindblom

The only need in the bullpen the Dodgers could have is for another left-handed pitcher, but that could always come in the form of a non-roster invitee. Hell, there's even a chance Ronald Belisario comes back (but don't count on it). The Dodgers also have prospects Shawn Tolleson and Steve Ames nearly ready to step up from the minors.

An interesting perspective about this signing comes in the form of a tweet from Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness:
"So with the entire front 5 presumably also locked up for 2013, you can look forward to Allen Webster & RDLR being dealt for Placido Polanco"
Now, I don't think they'll get traded for Polanco, but the moves do block the youngster from taking rotation spots come 2013. Webster will have had a full year in Double-A (presumably) and De La Rosa should be fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery.

The Dodgers could trade Ted Lilly, Capuano or Harang next year, which might be the best course of action.

It's always best to have too much pitching (if there's such a thing) than not enough.

The Dodgers could conceivably trade Chad Billingsley, too, if it got to that point. I don't see it happening, but it's a possibility.


The Dodgers signed free agent reliever Alberto Castillo today to a minor-league deal. The Dodgers also lost outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to the Colorado Rockies today on waivers.

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