The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with free agent starter Aaron Harang.
The move is a far cry from years past where the club traded for Roy Halladay or signed free agent Cliff Lee, but it’s a good move for where the club is at right now.
The Phillies may be rebuilding, but they need someone to eat up innings next season and if Harang is good for anything, it’s gobbling up innings.
Harang, 36, has bounced around the league quite a bit since his mid-aughts glory days with the Cincinnati Reds, but he put together a solid season with Atlanta in 2014 winning 12 games with a 3.57 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 161/71 K/BB ratio in 204.1 innings.
While Harang’s 2013 campaign was a complete dumpster fire, he’s actually been a fairly reliable back-of-the-rotation option since leaving Cincinnati following the 2010 season.
He still gives up way too many free passes and is prone to the long ball, but he’ll be a solid complement to the Phillies current rotation and his durability will prove a welcome addition.
The Phillies are still working to move Cole Hamels for a truckload of prospects and – if he can prove himself healthy – Cliff Lee figures to be moved by mid-season as well, so Harang should have a very long leash on the mound next season.
It’s a safe move for Philadelphia, as they land a starter capable of pitching 200+ innings without killing the team on the hill.
As for Harang, it’s not the two-year deal he was reportedly seeking, but he still lands a pretty solid payday in a market that appears all but dried up for the remaining, non-marquee starting pitchers still available.
Now we’ll wait and see if this signing is a harbinger of an impending Hamels trade.