Rich Harden hasn’t pitched much this season thanks to his usual array of injuries, but he started Thursday night for the Oakland Athletics and the Yankees were there to check him out, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Harden has been out all season with a strained lat. He returned on July 1st and has been a bit rusty, but promising. He was impressive against the Rays on Thursday night. He went six innings, struck out seven, and gave up two runs on just three hits, both runs coming on a two-run shot by Desmond Jennings in the 6th inning.
Harden isn’t a bad option, he would probably come pretty cheap. He is a huge injury risk though and even when healthy he is no sure thing. Over his last three seasons he has just a 4.67 ERA. His K/9 of 9.4 during that stretch has been impressive, but unfortunately it comes with a 4.8 BB/9.
Because he is neither healthy or productive consistently he should be a guy they target only if there is nobody else that realistically fits. This is more of a sign of how thorough the Yankees have been during the deadline than anything else.
Harden is on a one year contract that pays him $1.5 million and is a free agent at the end of the season (he is neither type-A nor B).