Unsure of future, Harang finishes up 2015

Unsure of future, Harang finishes up 2015

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies signed Aaron Harang to a one-year, $5 million contract in January because they needed a veteran pitcher to stabilize the rotation.

Harang finished his season on Saturday evening in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park. He allowed eight hits, four runs, one walk and one home run in 5 2/3 innings to finish his season 6-15 with a 4.86 ERA.

Harang, 37, will become a free agent after the season. He does not know if he will try to pitch next year.

"I'm not sure yet," he said. "I've got to go home and think about it with my wife and kids and really decide what I want to do from here. I feel like I can go out there and pitch and be competitive and give my team a chance to win, but I've got to figure some things out."

Harang seemed unlikely to rejoin the Phillies anyway, even if he planned to continue his career. Regardless, the Phillies are expected to sign at least one, perhaps two, free-agent veteran starters in the offseason. Pitchers like Doug Fister, J.A. Happ and Bartolo Colon seem to make the most sense for the Phillies, who are not expected to get involved with the top-tier free agents this offseason as they continue the rebuilding process.

Rookies Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff are expected to be heavy favorites to make the 2016 rotation coming out of Spring Training. Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, Alec Asher and others are expected to fight for a job or two, too.

Harang said he likes the young talent he sees in Philadelphia.

"I'm excited for the future of the Phillies," Harang said. "Definitely in Nola and Eickhoff you have two young guys that could potentially be front-of-the-rotation-type guys. They have the demeanor and the drive to be like that. Everybody talks about front-line guys got to have the best stuff. Not necessarily. It's about the determination and the commitment when they're out there. You can tell by their attitude, they're bulldogs when they're out there.

"They've got a good idea of what they're doing out there. It's fun to watch. They've had their ups and downs, but they're very willing to listen. They ask a lot of questions. I talk to them a lot when we're on the bench or in the outfield. I'll go out and watch their bullpens and watch video of them. If I see something I'll talk to Mac [pitching coach Bob McClure] about it."

Harang didn't have the season he wanted with the Phillies, but perhaps he left them with something better -- solid advice that could help the Phillies' young starters take the next step forward in 2016.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.