Pirates @ Dodgers April 6, 2013: Ramon Hernandez, The Newest Dodger

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150So after a brief period of excitement earlier this afternoon when we heard the Dodgers had acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies, wondering if that meant another trade was soon to follow… that was it. Aaron Harang heads to Colorado — briefly, because the Rockies immediately DFA’d him, which, ha — and Hernandez comes to Los Angeles.

As you might expect, there’s some disappointment and confusion there. Hernandez isn’t great, and that seemingly dooms Tim Federowicz back to Triple-A. The one plus side is that the Dodgers do save some money, as Eric Stephen broke down at TrueBlueLA

Pirates
Dodgers
LF
Marte
LF
Crawford
2B
Walker
2B
M.Ellis
CF
McCutchen
CF
Kemp
1B
Sanchez
1B
Gonzalez
C
Martin
RF
Ethier
3B
Alvarez
C
A.Ellis
RF
Tabata
3B
Cruz
SS
Barmes
SS
Sellers
P
Burnett
P
Kershaw

Counting Sunday, Mar. 31, six days of the 183-day season have lapsed. That means the Dodgers are on the hook for $3,095,082 of Hernandez’s salary, and the Rockies responsible for $6,770,492 for Harang, plus the $2 million buyout in 2014, though Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the Dodgers would send $4.25 million to Colorado.

So, instead of having $9 million guaranteed to Harang, the Dodgers will instead pay approximately $7,574,590 ($3,095,082 for Hernandez, $229,508 for Harang, and $4.25 million to Colorado). Subtract the major league salary that would have been paid to Tim Federowicz and the Dodgers save approximately $2 million and upgraded their catching depth.

The money saved is nice, especially since it’ll help the Dodgers with their looming luxury tax situation, as Dylan Hernandez notes, but I’m unconvinced it’ll really help the Dodgers from a baseball perspective. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Federowicz, but Hernandez’ best days are long behind him at this point; given that A.J. Ellis turns 32 in three days, I’m not buying the need for “invaluable veteran experience and additional leadership,” as Ned Colletti put it in the press release.

Since Hernandez refused to report to Triple-A with the Rockies after being DFA’d, I sincerely doubt that the Dodgers are acquiring him with any thought other than that he’s going to be the backup in Los Angeles. Harang was known to be a reasonably popular presence in the clubhouse, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the players weren’t thrilled by this sequence of evens.

Interestingly, Hernandez also reports that Federowicz is still expected to start for the Dodgers tomorrow, and while that might be just a logistical thing given that we have no idea where Hernandez actually is right now, it’ll sure be interesting if he goes 3-3 with a couple of doubles before getting shipped out.

I will, however, buy the idea that the Dodgers needed some catching depth, because Jesus Flores & Matt Wallach in Triple-A aren’t exactly the kind of guys you really want to use if you don’t have to. And what I do have to disagree with a lot of fans on — at least the ones that I’ve heard from — is that “this is all you could get for Harang?” That perspective works only if you believe Harang is valuable, and while he’s a decent back-end starter, he’s past his prime and not that great. Clearly, a few dollars saved, some catching depth, and alleviating a quickly growing roster headache is what he’s worth. The Rockies will try to trade him too, and the amount of people thinking they’re suddenly going to do what the Dodgers were unable to and trade to, say, Boston, for a huge return are way off the mark.

None of this should overshadow tonight’s game, of course, because Clayton Kershaw is pitching. And isn’t all that matters? Also worth noting — the original Dodger lineup had Luis Cruz hitting sixth, behind Ethier. That’s since been updated to move A.J. Ellis up, and that’s very, very good.

1028 comments
MotoMikey
MotoMikey

What's Casey Blake doing right now?

Jobu
Jobu

Ok so Cruz hasn't had a hit YET this season; when will Katsen find us at least a mediocre 3B?

nudibranch
nudibranch

Pitching has given the Dodgers a winning record.  Will it last?

Baby Blue
Baby Blue

Ball game!!!! A little too close for comfort but a win is a win and Kersh pitched a gem

Lobo
Lobo

Well our pitching staff is godly at least.

KMT59
KMT59

Good win...Lot of men left on base...soon there won't be as many stranded

Dang88
Dang88

Everyone take your pants off right meow

Hoagiebum
Hoagiebum

It's closing time....you don't have to go home, but you..can't..stay..here

JoeyE
JoeyE

i dont think any other team would have given league 3 years

MotoMikey
MotoMikey

Anyone going to the Game tomorrow?

Dang88
Dang88

Skip overran that but he "skipped" to catch it

KMT59
KMT59

That looked scary....that jump at the end...I don't know?

MotoMikey
MotoMikey

Rmember in 06 when the Dodgers beat the Angels with 0 hits?  . . . . Felt like that the last 2 nights

nudibranch
nudibranch

@MMKowsari Maybe the Dodgers should have called up Corey Seager like I suggested.

Dang88
Dang88

@JoeyE your like 6 months late to that convo

Baby Blue
Baby Blue

@MotoMikey I was at that game. Kemp got to first on an error by Weaver, and he scored. Great game. No hit win