Harang out of running for Indians rotation

Veteran righty could start season at Triple-A Columbus or opt for free agency.

Mar 16, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Aaron Harang (54) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning at Scottsdale Stadium.


Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have informed Aaron Harang that he would not be part of the Opening Day roster. The right-hander was signed on Feb. 15 to a minor-league deal and was in the running for the final spot in the rotation.

Harang has an out in his contract where he can elect to become a free agent. The Indians would love to keep Harang in the organization but he would start the season in Triple-A Columbus.

"We worked through a number of options the past couple days," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Aaron has pitched well in camp but as we went through how we can do our rotation we felt that we would likely go in another direction."

If Harang would elect to stay and not test free agency, he would earn a $100,000 retention bonus and could elect again to opt out by June 1. If Harang would exercise his out and then re-sign with the Tribe, that bonus and other opt out date would no longer apply.

Harang pitched in four spring training games. In nine innings he gave up two runs. He faced 38 batters and allowed eight hits while walking two and striking out six.

Said Harang about his spring earlier in the week: "I might be old, but I can still get it done. I've got command of my fastball and breaking stuff. Changeup, I still have to work on that a little bit. It's got good action, I've just got to find a consistent release point."

With Harang out of the mix, that leaves Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin vying for the final rotation spot.

Harang will turn 36 on May 9. One possible landing spot could be a return with the Reds, where he spent eight seasons (2003-10) because of injuries with Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos.

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