Dodgers deal Aaron Harang for Ramon Hernandez, add depth, pay another to play elsewhere


Yesterday, the Dodgers dealt Aaron Harang to the Rockies for catcher Ramon Hernandez and effectively cleared room in their bullpen for the return of Chad Billingsley on Wednesday.

The Dodgers on Saturday made official their trade of pitcher Aaron Harang and cash to the Rockies for catcher Ramon Hernandez.

Oddly enough though, the Rockies designated Harang for assignment immediately, so he’ll likely be elsewhere soon.

As for Hernandez himself, he’s certainly a more proven option than Tim Federowicz, though better is arguable. He’s about a league-average hitter (96 OPS+) for his career, but he’s 37 now and at age 36 he hit .217/.247/.353/.605 with the Rockies. He used to be a solid defender, but that has fallen off considerably with age and is probably a downgrade from T-Fed in that regard. Essentially, he has to hit to be useful, and the Dodgers are banking that he can regain his form, because he could be useful in relieving A.J. Ellis and providing much needed pop off the bench if he’s right.

More than anything though, this was about dumping Harang to clear room in the bullpen so that the return of Billingsley wouldn’t result in something like Paco Rodriguez having to be sent down. So from that perspective, even if Hernandez tanks, they still have T-Fed in the minors and it doesn’t affect the team much.

Money-wise, as you would imagine, the Dodgers are eating salary.

Counting Sunday, Mar. 31, six days of the 183-day season have lapsed. That means the Dodgers are on the hook for $3,095,082 of Hernandez’s salary, and the Rockies responsible for $6,770,492 for Harang, plus the $2 million buyout in 2014, though Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the Dodgers would send $4.25 million to Colorado.

So, instead of having $9 million guaranteed to Harang, the Dodgers will instead pay approximately $7,574,590 ($3,095,082 for Hernandez, $229,508 for Harang, and $4.25 million to Colorado). Subtract the major league salary that would have been paid to Tim Federowicz and the Dodgers save approximately $2 million and upgraded their catching depth.

So the team saves ~$2 million but will pay yet another player to perform elsewhere. It’s not a significant deal in terms of impact, but I get the feeling that when all is said and done about the pre-Richie Rich Ned Colletti era, boy are a lot of the contracts that were handed out going to look ridiculous in retrospect.

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