LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A tearful postgame interview following his start on the last day of the regular season was all the indication needed that Aaron Harang's days with the Reds were numbered.
Harang's $12.75 million option was declined by the Reds last month. And on Monday at the Winter Meetings, he landed on his feet very well by formally signing a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Padres that carried a mutual option for 2012.
Harang was 6-7 with a 5.32 ERA in 22 games for the Reds, including 20 starts. But he lost his rotation spot in early September.
The new contract is a sweet situation for Harang, a San Diego native. Not only does he get to return home, but the fly-ball pitcher will get to perform his craft at spacious PETCO Park on a regular basis.
Previously the longest-tenured Reds player, who arrived in 2003, Harang was 75-80 with a 4.28 ERA over eight seasons. His best seasons were in 2006-07, when he won 16 games both years while going 32-17. He led the National League in victories, strikeouts, complete games and starts in 2006.
In the three seasons from 2008-10, Harang was a combined 18-38.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.