Source: Aaron Harang, Dodgers close

Updated: December 6, 2011, 12:55 AM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

DALLAS -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to an agreement with free-agent right-hander Aaron Harang, a deal that would give them a rotation full of established starters and likely would push rookie Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen or the minor leagues to begin the season.

A source confirmed the pending deal on the condition of anonymity, but wouldn't specify whether the contract was for one year or multiple years. Harang just completed a one-year, $4 million contract with the San Diego Padres, after which the Padres declined to exercise a mutual option that would have paid Harang $5 million in 2012.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti wouldn't confirm that an agreement with Harang was in place or even that one was close.

"I don't know if we are or not," Colletti said. "I hate to say close. Either you have a deal or you don't have a deal, and we don't have a deal right now."

Harang, 33, is a 10-year major league veteran who went 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 28 starts for the Padres last year. He is a former staff ace for the Cincinnati Reds, but he likely would be slotted fifth in a Dodgers rotation that already includes reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and newly signed free-agent left-hander Chris Capuano.

Harang also has spent time on the disabled list each of the past four seasons, including a month with a stress fracture in his right foot in 2011.

Colletti said that if the Dodgers were to sign another starter, Eovaldi, who went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts and four relief appearances as a rookie in 2011, could fit into the bullpen rather than beginning the season in the minors.

"But I still think of him as a big league starter," Colletti said.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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