The Mariners Thursday acquired RHP Aaron Harang from the Colorado Rockies for minor league reliever Steven Hensley. To make room for the 35-year-old Harang, the Mariners designated shell-shocked reliever Kameron Loe for assignment and have 10 days to trade, release or outright his contract.
This latest move, one done in obvious desperation, comes after two consecutive bad starts each by the club’s No. 4 and No. 5 starters, rookie Brandon Maurer and Blake Beavan. Wednesday, the Houston Astros pounded Maurer so roundly he couldn’t get out of the first inning, allowing six runs on seven hits with a walk. Thursday night, Beavan gave up four earned runs.
Harang began the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was traded to the Rockies for catcher Ramon Hernandez. The Rockies didn’t hang on to Harang long, designating him for assignment.
Harang, an 11-year major league veteran, has had stops in Oakland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Diego. He has a career record of 105-104 with a 4.19 ERA that looks fabulous when compared to Maurer’s 19.20 and Beavan’s 7.20.
Harang, a San Diego native, will be paid a reported $7 million this season and has an option that will pay him $7 million in 2014 if he pitches 180.1 innings. If he doesn’t, the Mariners can buy him out for $2 million.
Harang had his two best years in 2006-07 with Cincinnati, going 16-11 with a 3.76 ERA and 16-5, 3.73. But a year later, also for the Reds, Harang led the National League in losses with 17. Harang won 14 games for San Diego in 2011 and last year went 10-10, 3.61 for the Dodgers. He has a lifetime 1-4, 1.53 ERA record against the Mariners and is 1-1, 0.44 in three starts at Safeco Field.
Hensley, 26, is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 2.2 innings with the Tacoma Rainiers.
The 31-year-old Loe, battered for three home runs Wednesday, has already allowed six long balls in just four appearances covering 6.2 innings. His ERA is 10.80.