Rate the Deal: Harang for Pence

I recently pulled the trigger on a relatively minor trade in my keeper league, so let’s see what everyone here thinks about it. 

The Deal:
I traded Aaron Harang (can be kept in 2010 for $9) for Hunter Pence (can be kep in 2010 for $18)

The Reason:
My team had been jumping between second and fourth for two weeks or so when I got hit with injuries to Geovany Soto (2-catcher format, so Miguel Montero was the best replacement I could find) and Torii Hunter.  Already depending on a combination of Gary Sheffield, Jose Guillen, Kosuke Fukudome, Randy Winn & Dexter Fowler in the outfield (three were playing, since Adam Dunn is now my corner infielder due to the injury to Adrian Beltre).  This past week, my team took a bit of a freefall, down to fifth place and 12 points out of first.

At this point, many of the hitting categories are extremely close:

  • Home Runs: I have 142, there are team’s with 144 & 145
  • Runs: I have 602, there are team’s with 603 & 606
  • RBI: I have 575, there’s a team with 575, two with 581 and one with 584
  • Stolen Bases: I have 96, there is one with 95

That doesn’t take into account average, which I do have a little bit of mobility in, but with Dunn and Carlos Pena on my roster, the chances of making up too much ground are probably slim to none (though a hot stretch from Ian Kinsler would do wonders).

The Consequence:
The deal left me short a starting pitcher.  I literally had no starting pitcher on my bench that was usable (John Maine is on the DL, Madison Bumgarner & Ian Snell are in the minor leagues).

I quickly decided to drop Randy Winn and pick up Jorge De La Rosa as a short-term fix, barring the ability to acquire a more viable replacement. 

The thing is, Harang was part of the reason for my downfall.  Since I acquired him he went 2-5 with a 4.82 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 54 K over 61.2 innings.  De La Rosa can give me that.  On the season he has a 5.21 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with 99 K over 96.2 IP.  The strikeouts were my biggest concern, so he’s suitable for now.

I also moved quickly this morning, dispatching Snell to pick up Mat Latos, who may be recalled to start this weekend.  Between Latos & Bumgarner, I’m hoping that I can maybe catch lightning in a bottle for a couple of starts apiece.  Can I depend on them long-term?  Probably not, since, as I like to say, rookie pitchers are extremely inconsistent.

The Conclusion:
I ultimately decided that I should be able to piece together a backend of my rotation, which has been lacking wins to begin with.  I have 47 wins, right in the middle of the pack, but I’m only a handful of wins short of 3 addition points.  While I’m putting my ERA and WHIP at a little bit of risk, if I’m smart with the match-ups where appropriate, it shouldn’t be affected too badly.

Harang was an appealing potention keeper for next season, but not a blow away guy by any stretch, especially with the way he’s pitched the past year and a half.  Latos or Bumgarner could easily be a much better keeper for next season

The upside in those offensive categories were just too great to ignore.  The one player in Pence could make a huge difference and vault me back into the money.

So, what does everyone else think?  Was this a trade you would’ve made?  Did I make a mistake in pulling the trigger?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. Stevey B says:

    I like the trade for you my man. I honestly feel like Harang has seen his better days. When you get beat up by the Mets like he just did, you know your losing something off your fastball, that coming from a die hard met fan. I had Pence in my keeper league and I just traded him (could be kept for $15 next year) and Russel Martin for Jacoby Elsbury (could be kept for $11 next yr). It truly was a no brainer but I was said to see Hunter go. I think hes got a lot of upside, a lot more than Harang. It will help you this yr but you may decide to forego keeping him for 18 bucks.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I think you did a good job here. As you said, you can scoop up a pitcher from free agency. I’d much have the more reliable hitter than pitcher when there are often so many on the waiver wire.

  3. Will says:

    Exactly what I was going to say, I’ll trade a pitcher for a hitter anyday! Especially if they are of equal “value” because in my eyes, hitters are always more valuable than pitchers. Harang isn’t anything super special either.

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