The Phillies' "well hey, that's not so bad!" offseason continued today with the announcement that the club had agreed to a one year deal with veteran right-handed starting pitcher Aaron Harang. The deal is reportedly worth $5 million, and will include performance bonuses and incentives that are unknown at this time.
Harang, 36, pitched nicely for the Atlanta Braves in 2014, posting a 3.57 ERA over 204 innings, with 161 strikeouts.
The Phillies are looking to Harang to soak up innings in the middle of the rotation, and also probably hope he'll perform just well enough to be enticing to a contender at the trade deadline. In that way, maybe you can think of him as a less volatile A.J. Burnett.
This is exactly the kind of move the Phillies should be making, and they did it. So, kudos.
The right-hander should slot into the rotation behind Cole Hamels and, if healthy, Cliff Lee. Right-hander Jerome Williams and Wandy Rodriguez are probably your favorites for the other two rotation spots.
Harang was one of the better starting pitchers in the National League for a few years, finishing fourth in Cy Young Award voting in 2007, when he posted a 16-6 record and a 3.73 ERA with 218 strikeouts in 231 innings.