Rockies Rumors: Josh Johnson, Aaron Harang Among Options For Rockies?


As the underwhelming rumors continue to fly for the Colorado Rockies, Josh Johnson and Aaron Harang are among the options potentially available as the team tries to piece together a starting rotation.

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And you thought that Kyle Kendrick rumor was exciting on its own? Well you don’t even know the half of it, my friends. There are more names to go along with Kendrick as the Rockies shop the free agency bargain bin for starting pitchers.

Thomas Harding of has the report:

"The Rockies’ exploration for veteran pitching has them kicking the tires on several free agents.Righties Kevin Correia, Aaron Harang, Josh Johnson and Kyle Kendrick are believed to be four of many available free agents with whom the Rockies have made initial contact and are monitoring this offseason."

Now, try to contain your excitement. It’s not every day that your team gets linked to Kyle Kendrick and Aaron Harang in the same day. Eh eh?

Combine these with the Kevin Correia rumors from even earlier this off-season, and you might think that the Rockies are trying to build the below-average All-Stars for their starting rotation.

We covered the Kyle Kendrick option earlier. Earlier this off-season, we took a look at the grumblings about the Rockies and Correia. Neither is exciting, but one (Kendrick) is more palatable than the other (Correia).

The same goes for Johnson and Harang. One makes some sense and one makes no sense.

In signing Johnson, you would at least give your team the upside of a guy who was a legit ace at one point in his career. He will never be that pitcher again, but he is still a worthwhile gamble. Johnson has a career 3.40 ERA to go along with a 3.32 FIP and a strikeout rate of 8.3 K/9. Those numbers are bumped up pretty significantly by his best seasons, but he would still have the chance to be an upgrade in the back of the Rockies’ rotation.

Take Johnson’s 2012 season as an example. That year, coming off an injury-riddled 2011, Johnson went 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 32 starts. Acknowledging that he was limited to 13 starts in 2013 and missed all of 2014, he is still a worthwhile dart-throw if he comes at the right price.

You know who isn’t worth the gamble? Aaron Harang, that’s who. And here’s the funny part: the Rockies already decided against Harang once in recent memory. Upon acquiring Harang in 2013 (for Ramon Hernandez!), the Rockies immediately flipped him to the Mariners. Part of their thinking was cost savings, but part of it surely was the fact that Harang is not a good fit in Colorado.

Harang has a career 4.13 FIP to go along with a 40.7% flyball percentage. That’s not terrible, but it’s not ideal either. As a veteran flier for the back end of big league starting rotations, Aaron Harang makes a lot more sense in the places he has pitched lately, Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, so on, than he ever would in Colorado.

To be clear, all of these guys could be disastrous in Colorado. But if you’re talking about taking a shot at one of them contributing meaningfully, I would opt for the relative upside of guys like Kendrick and Johnson over Correia and Harang.

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