Tag:Aaron Harang
Posted on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers in on LA's Kuroda

Maybe Rafael Furcal will be the only Dodgers player asked to waive a no-trade clause, maybe not.

Little more than 24 hours before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline, three clubs continue to seriously engage the Dodgers in conversations regarding starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, according to CBSSports.com sources: The Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.

It is not known if Kuroda will consent to a deal if traded. A source close to him told CBSSports.com earlier in the week that he still seems a "little apprehensive" about leaving Los Angeles, the only major-league organization he's known since leaving Japan following the 2007 season.

Kuroda is just one of the starters available in a fairly weak starting pitching market at the 2011 trade deadline. The biggest target remains Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, who will make what could be his final start for the Rockies tonight in San Diego. However, it remains unclear whether Colorado will deal him. The Yankees and Red Sox both are interested.

Detroit acquired Doug Fister from Seattle earlier Saturday, taking him off the board. Other starting pitchers who could go include Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara, San Diego's Aaron Harang, Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann and Seattle's Erik Bedard.

Kuroda this season is 6-13 with a 3.11 ERA in 21 starts for the Dodgers.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Finally home, Harang contemplates moving

Aaron Harang does not want to be traded.

No. I mean, the Padres' starter REALLY does not want to be traded.

"You hear the rumors and hope it doesn't happen," says the native San Diegan, who signed with his hometown Padres as a free agent last winter.

His wife just gave birth to a twin son and daughter seven months ago. Three uncles, two aunts, both of his grandmothers and six cousins all live in San Diego. Two of the cousins have children the same age as Harang's oldest daughter, who will turn 5 in October. Not only do Harang's parents live in the area, so, too, do his wife's parents.

No, this guy wants nothing to do with a deal.

Yet ... with the Padres out of the race, Detroit is interested in Harang. Boston is watching. So, too, are several other clubs.

Somebody is not going to land Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez. Somebody is going to miss on the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda. After that ... well, there's just not a lot out there this summer in the starting pitcher department.

"I'd like to stay here," says Harang, who has bounced back from back, appendix and forearm issues over the past three seasons to go 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA over 17 starts this season. "I want to stay here.

"It's been nice for me. My family is here. It's a comfortable fit. I like the guys in the clubhouse.

"I feel like this is where I'm meant to be."

Over the next four days, we'll see whether the Padres feel the same way.

In his favor to stay: He and the Padres have a mutual $5 million option for 2012. That's very affordable, even for the Padres, for a starting pitcher.

Working against him: The Padres need a major influx of talent and are not exactly overloaded with trade chips. And there is no reason why they can't trade Harang while at the same time telling him they'd like to re-sign him as a free agent this winter.

Amid the uncertainty in the Padres' clubhouse, Harang has plenty of company with whom to discuss things. Closer Heath Bell, set-up man Mike Adams, reliever Chad Qualls and outfielder Ryan Ludwick all are in play at the trade deadline.

"We talk about it a little bit," Harang says. "We're all in the same boat. We don't know what's going on. Until we get told something ... we hear all the rumors. We get family and friends texting us telling us, 'We hear this' or 'We hear that.'

"There's nothing we can do to control it."

The bright side for Harang is, hey, at least he's healthy and productive. That's the whole reason he's in this fix.

"Obviously, people who are seeing me know I've been throwing well," Harang says. "I had a little fluke setback with my foot, but that had nothing to do with my arm or my back."
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Padres taking lots of calls re. Bell, others

While the Rangers and Cardinals led a hard-charging pack Wednesday focused on San Diego relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, according to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres' asking price remains high.

One club source cautions that the Padres could reach Sunday's trade deadline without having made any deal for Bell, who has made it clear wants to remain in San Diego and who the Padres think would re-sign for a discount this winter.

That isn't diminishing enthusiasm shown on Wednesday. And there is no reason why the Padres couldn't trade Bell now, get some pieces back and then re-sign him this winter as a free agent if he'll take such a discount.

The Padres have several trade chips that have general manager Jed Hoyer working overtime: Bell, Adams, reliever Chad Qualls, starting pitcher Aaron Harang and outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

"Our guys who are being talked about are handling it well," Padres manager Bud Black says. "It's part of baseball. It's happening in 29 other clubhouses right now, too. You can't stop it.

"Our players know their focus is on our game at 7:05."

Bell is a free agent after the season, the Padres control Adams through 2012. Among the other clubs who are checking: The Phillies.

Harang and the Padres have a mutual club option for 2012 at a $5 million salary. Ludwick is a free agent this winter, while the Padres own a $6 million club option on Qualls for 2012 with a $1.05 million buyout.

"Qualls gets less out of good stuff than anybody I've ever seen in my life," one NL scout says. "His fastball has great movement, he has great sink, and yet he comes in and screws up more games than anybody I've seen."

As for Bell, sources from several rival clubs say the Padres' price right now is high. Another scout, noting that as a Type A free agent the Padres (or an acquiring club) would receive two picks for Bell -- "probably one in the 20s and then probably a compensation pick in the 40s" -- if he flees via free agency, says, "My opinion, if they think they're getting two big-time prospects for Heath, I don't see it. Because I think he's a short-term rental" before he becomes a free agent.

Cleveland, Atlanta and Pittsburgh are among those clubs who have inquired on Ludwick, who is hitting .240 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this summer.

While the Padres are expected to deal Ludwick because there is virtually no interest on either side of his returning in 2012, one source says, as with Bell, they could opt for draft picks as compensation for losing him via free agency. The Padres believe Ludwick wants at least a three-year deal via free agency and they are not interested in doing that.

Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Padres: More talented 1-25 without Gonzalez?

They were the feel-good hit of the summer of 2010, winning 90 games and waging a spirited pennant run until San Francisco finally eliminated them on the last day of the season.

Then they traded All-Star Adrian Gonzalez and ... they'll be better in 2011?

Hard to imagine that until we see where the San Diego runs will come from. And general manager Jed Hoyer isn't necessarily predicting it. But he won't be surprised if it happens.

"I think the idea that we were entering a fire sale period where we were not going to be competitive ... it was born of reaction from the Adrian deal and the uncertainty after that," Hoyer said during a recent conference call. "It is our intent to field a competitive team.

"We can't replace Adrian with one guy. ..."

Perhaps they won't be able to do that even with five key newcomers -- shortstop Jason Bartlett (acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay), free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, center fielder Cameron Maybin (acquired in a trade with Florida), free agent Brad Hawpe (who will replace Gonzalez at first base) and veteran utilityman Jorge Cantu (the Padres also are taking a flier on starter Aaron Harang).

But, Hoyer said, "I think we are more talented one through 25 than we were a year ago. We have balance and depth."

One of the GM's goals was to improve up the middle, and the Padres think they did that with Maybin, Bartlett and Hudson.

They no longer have a big bopper in the middle of their lineup, so on-base percentage and smart execution will be a vital.

"This is the most humbling sport there is," Hoyer said. "We were fortunate to win 90 games last year. A lot of things went well for us.

"Four other teams in our division had good offseasons. ... It was an interesting offseason. We executed our plan well. At the same time, there's a lot of uncertainty. And a lot of good teams competing against us."

 

Posted on: September 4, 2008 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2008 1:53 pm
 

Did Reds season begin to unravel on May 25?

Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker offers many good qualities as a manager and has proven that, in the right situations, he can win. But watching Aaron Harang drop to 4-15 in a loss to Pittsburgh this week in the latest outing of a disastrous season, it's difficult not to ask the question of whether the Reds misused Harang earlier this season and whether that helped wreck his -- and their -- season.

One month ago, in the first week of August, Dayton Daily News Hall of Fame beat writer Hal McCoy quoted Baker: "I have never wanted to win more than I do right here, and I will, but this is Wayne Krivsky's team, not Walt Jocketty's and not mine."

Baker is -- or should be -- better that that, better than shifting the entire blame for the Reds' mess of '08 onto the lap of the GM who was fired way back in April. Yes, the deposed GM should shoulder his share of the blame, but Krivsky was long gone by the time the Reds lost a 12-9, 18-inning game in San Diego on May 25 that, in hindsight, appears to be the classic example of trading short-term gratification for long-term suffering.

Three days after he threw 103 pitches over 5 1/3 innings, Harang worked four innings in relief during that 18-inning game, throwing another 63 pitches. Total count: 166 pitches in a four-day stretch.

That's questionable enough. What's even more questionable is that the Reds then asked Harang to start four days after that, on May 29, instead of giving him an extra day or two of rest. Harang threw 73 pitches over four innings that day as Pittsburgh cuffed him for 10 hits and six runs in four innings. Total count over the eight-day period: 239 pitches.

If Baker couldn't help himself, someone -- Jocketty, pitching coach Dick Pole -- should have stepped in and demanded that the club, following Harang's relief appearance, erred on the side of giving the pitcher extra rest rather than shorting him at all.

Harang landed on the disabled list with a sore right forearm on July 13 and was activated Aug. 10. It was his first stint on the DL since 2004.

In that 18-inning game in San Diego, Josh Fogg started the 11th inning and faced only four batters before Bill Bray relieved him.

Fogg, a swingman with deep experience as a starter, could have lasted far longer. But as it was, once he and Bray ( 1 1/3 innings) were burned, Baker was backed into a corner and ended the game with Harang going four innings and starter Edinson Volquez, who will be a Cy Young candidate, going 1 2/3 innings.

Granted, nobody knew in the 11th inning that day that the game was going to drag on through the 18th.

But poor starting pitching is a big contributing reason as to why the Reds, who were officially eliminated from the NL Central race on Wednesday, now are finishing their eighth consecutive losing season. Within that, with starting pitching as thin as it is today, all clubs must take care of their aces, and nowhere is that more important than on clubs that traditionally lack pitching.

Since his relief appearance in the 18-inning marathon on May 25, Harang is 2-8 with a 7.65 ERA.

This from a man whose six-year career ERA going into 2008 was 4.15.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com