DENVER -- The Rockies sent catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Dodgers on Saturday -- and escaped some of their financial commitment to him -- in exchange for pitcher Aaron Harang, whom the Rockies will not keep.
The Rockies decided at the end of Spring Training not to keep Hernandez when they went with Yorvit Torrealba as the veteran backup to Wilin Rosario, and were hoping to find a place for Hernandez and escape some of the $3.2 million salary he was owed. In the trade, the Dodgers agreed to pick up about $1 million of Hernandez's salary.
The Rockies also announced they had designated Harang for assignment, meaning they have 10 days to decide what to do with him. The Rockies are committed to trading him. The other options within the 10-day period are to release him or outright him to the Minors, but there is no plan to have Harang pitch at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"With Aaron, we've respected him and what he's done in the past, but we've committed to five starters and we know he wants to start," said Bill Geivett, the Rockies' senior vice president of Major League operations. "We also have a group of younger pitchers that are in Colorado Springs right now, and we'd like to make sure there is opportunity at some point of the season for them to come up."
The Dodgers were looking to deal Harang throughout Spring Training and offered him to the Rockies, who were looking for a groundball pitcher and ended up signing Jon Garland (who made his Rockies debut Saturday night against the Padres), and found a trading partner when their need for backup catching arose.
Now the Rockies are hoping to use Harang to fill another need. In dealing him, the Rockies are not necessarily looking for a Major Leaguer or even a 40-man roster player, but a prospect -- hitter or pitcher -- that can be developed.
"I don't know that we're close, but we're talking to a number of clubs, and we spoke to Aaron's agent," Geivett said. "We'll begin those discussions now."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.