Saturday, April 6, 2013

Report: Dodgers acquire Ramon Hernandez from Rockies for Aaron Harang in confusing deal

In a bit of surprising news from Saturday morning, the Dodgers have acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted the Dodgers traded Aaron Harang and cash to acquire Hernandez.

Hernandez was designated for assignment last week by Colorado, so the team could only trade or release him, as he wouldn't accept an assignment to Triple-A.

Hernandez was unimpressive last season, hitting just .217/.247/.353 -- a line that could make Baby Jesus weep -- in just 52 games. He played in 91 games the year before with the Reds and hit much better: .282/.341/.446.

Hernandez is due $3.2 million this season. Not a bad price for a starting catcher, but Hernandez won't be a starting catcher with the Dodgers. That honor belongs to A.J. Ellis.

However, the fate of Tim Federowicz is uncertain at this point. The 25-year-old won the backup job in spring training, but that is apparently short-lived. Hernandez is set to displace Federowicz as the team's backup, meaning Federowicz is slated for Triple-A or, perhaps more likely, a trade.

This move is a tad puzzling. Yes, Hernandez has better offensive potential (even at his advanced age), but Federowicz is miles ahead of him on defense.

Hernandez hasn't had a positive defensive runs saved number since 2008 when he was with the Orioles. He's at -24 in the last four years -- the second-worst number of any catcher in that time.

While the Dodgers have started slow on offense this season, acquiring marginally better offensive backstop in lieu of a better defender is weird.

Hernandez will take Harang's 40-man roster spot. And with Chad Billingsley set to come back on Wednesday, the team needs to free up a spot for him on the pitching staff. The spot on the staff is open, and it seems Federowicz, barring a trade as mentioned earlier, is heading back to Triple-A.

Federowicz has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. He's a marginal offensive player, who can draw a walk, with a plus glove. He isn't going to learn how to be a better hitter in Triple-A -- his third go-round.

The return for Harang wasn't going to be much, but you'd think the Dodgers could do a little better than this for Harang. Hell, even a low-level reliever would have been a better return. But, here we are.

Harang's stay in Colorado could be short, as Ken Rosenthal tweeted Harang isn't likely to stay with the Rockies.

This screams of a 3-way deal, as it doesn't make a lot of sense to send Federowicz back to Albuquerque, especially with Jesus Flores and Matt Wallach likely able to hold the fort down there.

We'll see what happens. This is a fluid situation right now. and we haven't heard the end of this deal yet.

Photo credits
Hernandez: Commonist, Wikimedia Commons
Federowicz: EephusBlue, Paint the Corners

1 comment:

  1. Harang was going to not only be of no use to the Dodgers, but was going to take up a valuable roster spot.-Bobsince58