At this time last year, Rich Harden was one of the most talked about free-agent starting pitchers.
One poor season later – a 5.58 ERA in fewer than 100 innings with Texas – and it’s not clear whether Harden’s future is in the rotation or bullpen. But at least he has the free-agent market to help him figure that out.
Harden’s representatives are gauging interest from a number of teams. Some like him as a starter. Some like him as a reliever.
The New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies are among the teams who have checked in, a source said.
Questions about Harden’s durability are a major reason why the bullpen is becoming a more viable option. Despite a career 3.63 ERA, the right-hander's never thrown 200 innings in a season.
Still, he is only 29 years old and has power stuff. Someone will take a chance on him.
-Jon Paul Morosi