The Dodgers are believed to have inked a 2-year $12 million dollar deal with free agent Aaron Harang, and this essentially completes the 2012 five man rotation for the Dodgers.
Aaron Harang is a 33-year old right handed pitcher originally from San Diego, California. He’s played with the Athletics, Reds, and Padres. His career record is 95-94, with a 4.25 ERA, and 1,329 strikeouts.
The Texas Rangers drafted Harang out of college as a 6th round draft pick in 1999. Then he was traded in 2000, along with another minor leaguer, to the Oakland Athletics for Randy Velarde. He started 21 games for the A’s in 2002 and 2003 before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds with Joe Valentine and a minor leaguer for Jose Guillen. In 2006 Harang had a very good season and he led the National League in complete games with six and strikeouts with 216.
Harang has a good fastball, slider, curve and changeup. He does give up a lot of homeruns. in 2008 he led the Majors by serving up 19 homers at home. This frightens me since we also have homerun plagued Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano in the rotation as well.
In 2007 Harang signed a 4-year $36.5 million contract with the Reds. He missed the end of the 2009 season due to an appendectomy, and he also suffered back spasms in 2010 causing the Reds to demote him to the bullpen and leave him off the playoff roster. He became a free agent in November 2011 after the Reds bought out his option. Harang then signed a 1-year deal with his hometown San Diego Padres.
Last season the Dodgers couldn’t hit Harang. On July 9th we watched Harang pitch a no-hitter against the Dodgers through 6 innings during a deadlocked duel with Rubby De La Rosa. There was only one hit until the 9th inning. Then the Padres pulled Harang out of the game after 95 pitches. We were bewildered by this since he was pitching a no-hitter, but he had just returned from the DL and the Padres didn’t want to push him. The Padres no hit the Dodgers through 8.2 innings, but alas they would not see their first franchise no-hitter that night. Amazingly Juan Uribe doubles in the 9th and Navarro’s walk-off hit wins it for the Dodgers 1-0 on only two hits.
Then on September 24, the Dodgers barely squeezed out 3 hits against Aaron as the Padres shut out the Dodgers 3-0. Chad Billingsley melted down in the 5th inning during this loss. Harang made 28 starts in 2011, with a 14-7 record and 3.64 ERA for the Padres who did not choose to exercise his option for 2012 thus making him a free agent.
After picking up two starting pitchers this offseason here is how the 2012 rotation looks:
1. Clayton Kershaw (L)
2. Chad Billingsley (R)
3. Ted Lilly (L)
4. Aaron Harang (R)
5. Chris Capuano (L)
With Capuano and Harang’s contracts, it leaves little room for Nathan Eovaldi or Rubby when he returns barring injury. There was a mention of putting Eovaldi in the bullpen, but that would be disastrous. We saw how bad he pitched in relief during the later part of last season when he was shut down from starting.
What do you think about the rotation for next season? Let us know in the comments. We will now look to the bullpen and who will vie for a spot. We still don’t know the fate of Dougie, Hawksworth, and Kuo. Go Blue!