GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have narrowed the list of candidates for their final rotation spot to three pitchers: Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. Cleveland informed veteran Aaron Harang on Saturday morning that he would not make the Opening Day roster.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti noted that the 35-year-old Harang has the ability to opt out of his Minor League contract and elect free agency on Monday. Cleveland made it known to the right-hander, though, that it would be happy to keep him within the organization.
"We've obviously expressed to Aaron how much we appreciate him," Antonetti said, "and what he's done this spring on the field, the teammate he's been, the professional he's been. We'd love to keep him in the organization if he was open to it, but he's earned that right to look for another Major League opportunity."
If Harang decides to stay with the Indians without first testing the open market as a free agent, he would be eligible for a $100,000 retention bonus. Under that scenario, Harang would also be given the right to opt out of his contract with Cleveland on June 1.
In four Cactus League appearances this spring, Harang has posted a 2.00 ERA with six strikeouts against two walks in nine innings of work. During a Double-A game on Friday, the righty surrendered six runs (four earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
The Indians added Harang as a non-roster invitee on Feb. 15, giving him a shot at the lone vacancy within the starting staff. Cleveland's decision is now down to Carrasco (out of options), Tomlin (returning from Tommy John surgery) and Bauer (Cleveland's top pitching prospect).
In parts of 12 seasons in the Major Leagues, Harang has gone 110-116 with a 4.28 ERA in stints with the A's, Reds, Padres, Dodgers, Mariners and Mets. Last year, the right-hander went 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA in 26 starts between tours with Seattle and New York. Over the past 10 seasons, Harang has proved to be durable, logging an average of 179 innings per year.