Dodgers acquired veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Colorado Rockies… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)
The Dodgers parted with one of their surplus starting pitchers Saturday, trading Aaron Harang to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for prospective backup catcher Ramon Hernandez.
With former starter Chris Capuano left as the team's lone long reliever, the Dodgers now have a more traditional-looking seven-man bullpen. Harang, who was moved to a relief role against his wishes, will have the opportunity to be a starter again.
"At the end of the day, this has a chance to help us and to help him," Manager Don Mattingly said.
Hernandez once made an All-Star team, but that was 10 years ago. The 36-year-old journeyman was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week after failing to make their opening-day roster. A native of Venezuela, Hernandez batted .217 with five home runs and 28 runs batted in last season.
"We still feel he can swing the bat," Mattingly said.
Hernandez hit 12 home runs as recently as 2011. Mattingly argued that he shouldn't be judged by his 2012 statistics, blaming his lack of production on the turmoil on the Rockies. In 14 major league seasons, Hernandez has hit .264 with 166 home runs and 751 runs batted in.
The addition of Hernandez will probably result in the demotion of rookie Tim Federowicz, who started the season as Ellis' backup.
Federowicz is still scheduled to start Sunday in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is likely to be sent to triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday, when the Dodgers are planning to activate starting pitcher Chad Billingsley.
Until Harang was traded, left-hander Paco Rodriguez appeared to be the likely candidate to be optioned to the minor leagues to clear a roster spot for Billingsley.
While Harang figures to be in a rotation within a couple of weeks, it's unlikely to be with the Rockies. Upon completing the trade, the Rockies immediately designated Harang for assignment, an indication they are looking to flip him to another team.
If the Rockies don't add Harang to their 40-man roster in the next 10 days, they have to trade, waive or release him.
Harang, 34, was 10-10 with a 3.61 earned-run average for the Dodgers last season.
It's unlikely the Rockies will let him go without getting anything in return, considering they owe him nearly $5 million. They are responsible for $2.75 million of his $7-million salary this year, as well as the $2-million buyout on his club option for 2014.
The Dodgers are sending the Rockies $4.25 million to cover a majority of Harang's 2013 salary.
The Dodgers are inheriting all of Hernandez's $3.25-million salary. Hernandez will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Spanish-language Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin was sidelined with the flu on Saturday night. He is also expected to miss the game Sunday. … Hanley Ramirez will appear at the first Viva Los Dodgers event of the season. The pregame festival, which will feature live music, is scheduled to start at 10:40 a.m. in parking lot P . … The Dodgers signed four international amateur players: right-hander Victor Arano, 18, and outfielder Antonio Torres, 19, of Mexico; and outfielder Ibandel Isabel, 17, and infielder Samuel Ortiz, 16, of the Dominican Republic.