A report Monday indicates Brewers scouts watched L.A. Dodgers veteran right-hander Aaron Harang in a minor league game. Apparently scouts from the Baltimore Orioles were also in attendance. Baltimore, like Milwaukee, has stuck with the young guns and internal options for their 2013 starting rotation, rather than exploring the dicey free-agent market. Harang, 34, pitched to a 3.61 ERA in 31 starts for the Dodgers in 2012, along with a 1.403 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9 and 6.6 SO/9. Harang pitched nearly 180 innings with a sub-4.00 ERA, and that is likely what interests the Brewers: his workhorse capability.
A longtime Cincinnati Red, Harang wouldn’t be a terrible acquisition for the Brewers, especially considering their lack of experience in the rotation. It’s still very early in spring training, but Yovani Gallardo has already dealt with some injury issues and Mark Rogers has struggled thus far. Chris Narveson is coming off of a major injury. It’s unclear what the Dodgers would want for Harang, or fellow excess starter Chris Capuano, but Harang is making a pretty big salary ($7MM in 2013 with an identical salary next year on a mutual option or a $2MM buyout). Capuano is also making good money. Perhaps if the Brewers felt they needed some veteran experience on the staff after all, they could look into acquiring one of Harang or Capuano, but I would imagine the price would have to be very low in terms of players going back to L.A. Certainly, this option to fortify the rotation would be far wiser and less risky than signing Scott Boras client Kyle Lohse.