By Sam Bush
So, why exactly did Phillies genius general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. sign Aaron Harang, the 36-year-old well-traveled pitcher, to a $5 million, one-year contract on Monday?
Is it to insert him into the rotation that includes Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee and David Buchanan?
Or is it as apiece to the puzzle of a trade of Hamels?
Harang joins his eighth major league team and third in the same division in three years.
Harang was 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA in 33 starts for the Atlanta Braves last season. The right-hander finished ninth in the National League in innings with 204 1-3.
”Aaron brings a wealth of experience and durability to our rotation,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. ”He had a very solid season for the Braves last year and will complement the left-handers in our rotation nicely.”
Harang has a career record of 122-128 with a 4.21 ERA in 358 games, including 352 starts for Oakland, Cincinnati, San Diego, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle, New York Mets and Braves. Harang finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2007 after going 16-6 with a 3.73 ERA for the Reds.
The Phillies had been looking to add more depth to their rotation. They signed righty Jerome Williams to a one-year deal after he went 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts for them. Philly agreed with veteran left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on a minor league contract, according to CSNPhilly.com.
Buchanan and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez also are candidates for one of the five spots.