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Rockies to Trade Aaron Harang to Mariners

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The Rockies reportedly have ended their juggling act at the catcher position by trading away a pitcher who never played for them.

We didn't even know you.
We didn't even know you.
Joe Robbins

On December 7, 2005, the Mariners acquired Marcos Carvajal from the Rockies. No one knew then that the wheels were set in motion by that trade for Seattle to acquire Aaron Harang seven years later, who had just had a great first year with the Reds.

See, the return for Carvajal in that trade in December 2005 was Yorvit Torrealba. The Venezuelan catcher became a fan favorite, becoming known for his passion and hot hitting down the stretch in the Rockies' two playoff years. Dan O'Dowd let Torrealba go as a free agent after 2009 and has since declared it one of his biggest regrets as Rockies general manager.

To right that wrong, the Rockies went out and signed Torrealba. The Rockies had Wilin Rosario firmly entrenched as the starter and Ramon Hernandez due $3.2 million to be the back-up. Torrealba had a solid spring and the Rockies wanted him on the roster, so Hernandez was designated for assignment.

Four days ago, the Rockies managed to trade Hernandez for Aaron Harang, a pitcher they had no intention of issuing a jersey to after acquiring Jon Garland. The deal merely bought them more time to find a taker for the salary on the ledger, and Harang figured to have more demand as pitchers fell to injury than an aging catcher.

Today, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal (via MLB Daily Dish), the Rockies have found that taker in the Seattle Mariners, the team that traded Garland to the Rockies in the first place. Seattle can also thank the catcher they traded away back when their season-innings leader was a young 42-year-old Jamie Moyer. There is no word on what the Rockies will receive, and the trade is still pending MLB approval, which figures to be a formality.


So the Rockies' gymnastics leads to just ~$0.7mil paid to remove Hernandez from the roster, which is less than Yorvit Torrealba's $1mil salary. That means the net savings on payroll with Torrealba's salary included is about $1.5mil.

Update #2

Hensley was the Mariners' 4th round pick in 2008 out of Elon. He is a 26-year-old AAA right-handed reliever who was not on Seattle's 40-man roster. As expected, the Rockies acquire a fringe relief prospect. The trade has now been ruled official by MLB.