Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aaron Harang Adds Depth to Rotation

Phils sign veteran RHP Aaron Harang for rotation depth
The Phillies have announced the signing of free agent righthander Aaron Harang to a 1-year, $5 million contract. The pitcher, who will turn 37 years old in early May, pitched in 2014 with the Atlanta Braves.
Harang was a 6th Round pick of the Texas Rangers in the 1999 MLB Draft out of San Diego State University. In November of 2000, Texas dealt him to the Oakland A’s. He made his MLB debut with the A’s in 2002, and then was dealt by Oakland to the Cincinnati Reds in July of 2003. 
From 2003-2010, Harang was a valued member of the Reds starting rotation. He won 75 games over parts of 8 seasons in Cincy, including as a 16-game winner in both 2006 and 2007. In that ’07 campaign, Harang went 16-6 and finished 4th in NL Cy Young Award voting.
In December of 2010, Harang went home, signing as a free agent with his hometown San Diego Padres. This began a series of one-year free agent deals that has taken him from the Padres to the LA Dodgers, the Seattle Mariners, and finally to the Braves this past season.
For his career, Harang has a record of 122-128 in 352 starts across parts of 13 seasons in MLB. In 2,149.2 innings he has struck out 1,734 hitters and walked 661. He has gone over the 160 innings mark 8 times, but last year was his first such season since 2012.
The Phillies starting rotation is very much in flux heading into the 2015 season. Ace starter Cole Hamels is the subject of repeated trade rumors. Cliff Lee is a huge question mark as he battles back from injury. David Buchanan was a rookie last year. The club has no idea what to expect from Jerome Williams over a full season. 
AARON BRINGS A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE AND DURABILITY TO OUR ROTATION” ~ GM RUBEN AMARO
In a statement released along with the signing announcement, GM Ruben Amaro said: “Aaron brings a wealth of experience and durability to our rotation. He had a very solid season for the Braves last year and will complement the left-handers in our rotation nicely.
Harang is what fans can expect over the next 2-3 years as the team tries to build with prospects from within as it awaits the 2016 influx of Comcast cash to the coffers. Veterans willing to sign inexpensive one-year deals.
At this point, the Phillies rotation shows as Hamels, Lee, Harang, Williams, and Buchanan. The minor leagues are likely to have arms like Wandy RodriguezJonathan Pettibone, and Sean O’Sullivan, as well as 2014 first rounder Aaron Nola possibly ready to help at some point. 

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