Just hours after being released by the Cleveland Indians, right-hander Aaron Harang found a new team in the Atlanta Braves, the team announced on Monday. The deal is a one-year, Major League contract, so it seems like Harang will be joining the starting rotation in Atlanta.
Immediately following his release, the Braves' interest in Harang shot up, almost certainly due to the fact of their poor pitching depth. The Braves lost both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgery, and have been in the hunt for reliable starters, even after the acquisition of Ervin Santana, who signed with the team following the Medlen news.
Harang has been exactly what the Braves were looking for in a reliable starter. Over his twelve year career, Harang has reached the 200 inning plateau thrice, and has been able to throw over 150 innings eight times. So far in four games with the Indians in Spring Training, Harang has allowed two runs on eight hits in nine innings pitched.
Last season with the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets, Harang went 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA in 143 1/3 innings pitched. This does not seem like the reliable pitcher the Braves wanted, but Harang's numbers in the National League are much better than his in the league's counterpart. He has posted a 4.13 ERA in 1716 1/3 innings pitched there compared to a 5.38 ERA in 229 innings in the American League.
The Braves definitely needed to make this move, however, it will be interesting to see how the 36-year-old pans out with them in 2014. He still looks like he can pitch at a Major League level, which should be all the Braves needed out of him. He should make his first start in a Braves uniform before Opening Day.
The Chicago White Sox and starter Jose Quintana have agreed to a five-year extension, worth at least $21 million extension, the team announced. The deal can reach up to $26.5 million if he qualifies as a Super Two after 2014, but will remain at $21 million if he does not. The deal includes team options for both 2019 and 2020, worth $10.5 million and $11.5 million, respectively.
The 25-year-old Quintana went 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 33 starts with the White Sox in 2013. The breakout season for Quintana included a 7.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.04 HR/9, and a 42.5% ground-ball rate. He was made nearly untouchable by the White Sox over trade, so it makes sense that he can be locked up into his future with the club.
"I wanted this opportunity. I talked to my agent last year and I wanted to play hard for a new contract. And now the moment is now. The moment is here - and it's really good for me to stay with the White Sox." -- Jose Quintana (via the White Sox on Facebook).
Quintana's extension makes a lot of sense for both sides of the negotiations. Quintana gets to stay in Chicago, the team he started his career with, and the White Sox are able to get a very good pitcher to lead their staff as they rebuild and attempt to bring themselves back to the top of the American League Central.
The Boston Red Sox and designated hitter David Ortiz have agreed to a one-year extension, according to ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Ortiz's 2015 salary will be $16 million. Edes notes that Ortiz's extension may includes a vesting option for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, many in the Phillies organization believe that the organization would be better off trading shortstop Jimmy Rollins as soon as possible.
Many recent articles on multiple platforms have written about Rollins not wanting to be traded, and would be unwilling to waive his 10-5 no-trade clause rights to be willing to go to teams such as the Tigers. So, a trade seems pretty unlikely, unless the Phillies can find a suitor that Rollins would be willing to waive to go to.
Besides the Tigers, the Royals and Mets were two teams that had low production from the shortstop position last season. Both of those teams did little to nothing to fix their "issues" at the position. However, the Mets do have Ruben Tejada in line to become the next shortstop.
Rollins is a career .269/.327/.426 three-slash hitter with 425 career stolen bases (96 OPS+).
Left-handed reliever Glen Perkins and the Minnesota Twins have agreed upon a four-year, $22.175 million contract extension. The deal, which includes an option for the 2018 season, will overwrite the contract Perkins signed in 2012. He agreed to a three-year, $10.3 million contract with an option for 2016 at the time.
Perkins was one of the best closers in the American League in 2013, converting 36 saves in his 40 opportunities. The St. Paul, Minnesota native was picked in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2004 First Year Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Out of the University of Minnesota, Perkins went 9-3 with a 2.83 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 2004.
The 31-year-old Perkins went 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA and a 5.13 K/BB ratio in 61 games in 2013. He was an All Star for the first time in his career in 2013 (177 ERA+). Since becoming a reliever full time in 2011, Perkins has gone 9-5 with a 2.45 ERA and a 4.23 K/BB ratio (166 ERA+). Before converting into a reliever, Perkins posted a 5.05 ERA and a 84 ERA+.
Perkins and the Minnesota Twins look to rebound after a tough season in 2013 in which they finished last in the American League Central division. The Twins have done a good job this off season, signing pitchers Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, and Mike Pelfrey, and catcher Kurt Suzuki. Retaining Glen Perkins is just "another piece to the puzzle" for them.