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Saturday, September 28, 2013
Harang uses Mets as springboard for '14

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- Free-agent-to-be Aaron Harang signed with the Mets after being released by the Seattle Mariners with a 5.76 ERA to prove he could still perform at the major league level and to end the year on a better note and set up a chance in 2014 somewhere.

Mission accomplished.

After allowing one run in six innings Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Harang finished his four-start Mets tenure with a 3.52 ERA.

"That was a big thing, to get back into a rotation and to finish up the year and obviously show them what I could do -- that I could still pitch and that earlier in the year with Seattle was just one of those things," Harang said.

Asked if choosing the Mets was worthwhile, the 35-year-old right-hander said: "I did have some other teams that it was more of 'you'll-be-in-the-bullpen' role. You didn't know how much you were going to pitch and when you were going to pitch. Obviously the Mets said I was going to get an opportunity to work into the rotation and make some starts. I wanted to take full advantage of that and show that I could still be consistent at this level and still get guys out."

Even if Matt Harvey is available for 2014, the Mets conceivably could sign a veteran back-end starter such as Harang or Daisuke Matsuzaka in order to allow Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom to open the season in Triple-A.

Harang, the long-time Cincinnati Red, clearly has a liking for the National League.

"There's definitely a break-in period," Harang said about his dabbling in the AL with Seattle. "It's a different style of baseball. I feel like the National League you have to play to situations, move runners over and stuff like that. The American League you kind of sit back and wait for the home run to happen. And being I spent so much time of my career here, I know a lot more of the hitters in the National League and am just more comfortable."