The Braves signed starting pitcher Aaron Harang today after letting Freddy Garcia walk. What's the difference? Who knows? Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Sign Aaron Harang

The revolving door that is the last week in March for baseball players on the bubble opened to let Freddy Garcia leave and stayed open long enough to let Aaron Harang in.

Out With The Old In With The Not Quite That Old

As Alan wrote earlier today the Braves release of Garcia (37) was a shock to some but the signing of Harang (36) has to be an ever bigger one.  Garcia made it clear he wasn’t riding anymore team buses so being told it would be Gwinnett he opted out of his contract.  Harang told the Indians the same thing earlier today. On paper their isn’t much difference between the two pitchers.


Harang 5.40 4.79 1.347 9.6 1.6 2.5 7.1 2.83
Garcia 4.37 5.49 1.245 9.3 2 1.9 5.2 2.71
Harang 2.00 9 N/A 1.111 8 2 6 3 .222 .569 .267
Garcia 4.76 17 N/A 1.176 7.4 3.2 7.4 2.33 .212 .611 .255
2013…………… GB% LD% FB%
Harang 36% 19.7 44.3
Garcia 43.4 24 32.6

Last year their numbers were very close and only FIP gave the edge to Harang. .Spring training numbers are notoriously useless for pitchers but watching Garcia this year it appeared his control wasn’t where it once was and control is all the Chief had going for him. Harang on the other hand appeared to be having a good spring but the Indians had enough depth at the major  league level without him

That’s a Wrap

This appears to be a swap of dull knives. Neither Garcia or Harang would have been a rotation guy this season and Garcia’s work from the bullpen would have given him the edge for me. The Braves saw it differently and really there’s no argument to be made for keeping Chief beyond his playoff game last year and that was as much luck as anything. If Harang told the Braves he would go to Gwinnett if needed that might have been a deciding factor as well. There’s a lot of churn in the 25th man type player market now and because Harang is here today doesn’t mean he will still be here in a month. With Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd both ahead of schedule and better bullpen options around – the Braves had a look at former Blue Jay lefty reliever Luis Perez today – this is likely not last movement we’ll see in the next two weeks

Tags: Atlanta Braves

  • Chris Headrick

    In my mind, there has to be information we are not privy to here, because otherwise this move makes very little sense to me, however you spell it. Anytime a player dons a Braves’ uniform, I’m going to root for them of course, but outside of saving a touch of money perhaps, I see no upside to this move, and there was certainly a potential downside to losing Garcia. We shall see.

    • fireboss

      As I said these two are almost the same guy so there has to be something we don’t know. Perhaps Harang agreed to go to Gwinnett if needed. Maybe he has nude pictures of FW playing golf; who knows why he does these things. He did sign Rodrigo Lopez three times, Joe Mather, released Diory Hernandez in favor of Julio Lugo and so many other inexplicable things that this isn’t even a burp on my WTF radar.
      I’d consider a minor league deal for Mark Tehan who can play 3rd or first or Cesar Izturus who was released yesterday. They had a peek at Luis Perez for the situational lefty role yesterday and the wire is full of “veteran presence” if that FW needs to fill his hire a failing rehab quota

  • carpengui

    Mark Bowman @mlbbowman 12h
    Wren said scouts have had Harang’s fastball at 92-93 this month. Harang’s avg. FB velo was 89.4 last year per @fangraphs

    >>Contrast with Garcia at around 87. Clearly, Garcia has less margin for error. Also makes Harang much more suited for a bullpen role once he gets squeezed out of the rotation (we hope).

    Additionally, DOB pointed out that Harang did not make a public statement objecting to a minor league stint. Now that could be a technicality, for Harang is now on the roster (Garcia wasn’t) and Harang would obviously have to clear waivers to be sent down, but I suppose there is the whole ‘team guy’ thing about doing whatever the team needs you to do.

    So there’s a couple of reasons. Looking at it dispassionately, I’d pick Harang if the choice is between just the pair.

    • fireboss

      Harang had the same opt out that Garcia did and used it the same way. I don’t doubt that he looked at the Indians staff and said his chances were slim while a look at ours says they are better with us. Harang as a bullpen guy is problematic for me. He doesn’t hold runners well and whether he can adjust to bullpen duty is still to be seen. I agree that the 90+ fb gives him more margin for error, I just hope he doesn’t have to be the man very often