Welp. No deal, says a lot of folks. Looks as though this deal fell through at the eleventh hour. Which is weird. It could be any number of a million reasons (dollar figures to square the deal, concerns with medical records, a sudden awareness of who and what Carlos Marmol is) but for now all we know is the deal is OFF.

The Angels have until midnight Eastern to make a final decision on Haren’s option. Wacky stuff on its way.

Update: the Angels decline Haren’s $15.5 million dollar option, buying him out for $3.5 mil. The man with more than 37 fWAR since 2005 is officially a free agent.

Erroneous assessment of not-real trade below.

More and more reports suggest surface by the minute, all suggesting the Los Angeles Angels traded Dan Haren, he of the one-year club option worth $15.5 million, to the Chicago Cubs for former closer/strikeout master/guy with little in the way of control Carlos Marmol.

One quibbling detail: in a cruel twist of irony, the man without any real control has ultimate control over this deal. Carlos Marmol must agree to waive his no-trade clause before this deal becomes official.

What seems like a questionable deal points to one thing and one thing only: Theo Epstein and friends are quite good at this.

Well, maybe not “one thing only” but still: there are many ways to look at this deal. Number one: the baseball-wide view of Dan Haren took a beating after his dismal 2012 season. The usually durable right-hander spent time on the disabled list, saw his fastball velocity and strikeout rates dip and his numbers decline across the board.

The Cubs, losers of 100 games in 2012 with nowhere to go but up, can afford to take a flier on a pitcher like Haren. They have deep pockets and, at the very least, improved their 2013 rotation. They also netted a tidy trade piece should Haren’s 2012 prove to be an unfair representation of his true talent at age 32.

The Angels get a reliever with some of the best stuff in the game. They also get a reliever who struggled to throw strikes at the best of times, who leads all relievers with a 16% walk rate over the last two seasons. TO be fair, his strikeout rate of just under 30% ranks him in the top fifteen.

As the BP guys above point out, the reliever free agent might just be a place of sadness of woe so, knowing is areas of need, Jerry Dipoto opted to grab a very live arm for the price of one slightly broken down pitcher.

There is also the matter of the seven or so million dollars the Angels save by trading Haren and taking on Carlos Marmol’s salary, nearly $10 million for 2013 before he fits free agency at the end of the season, almost assuredly without a qualifying offer in hand.

This is the part where fans of 28 other teams march on their team’s front office, pitchforks in hand, outraged that their team couldn’t acquire a pitcher of Dan Haren’s quality for a reliever like Marmol.

For which there is likely good reasons. The dollar figure, even for one year, is pretty steep. As much as we can all agree “there is no such thing as a bad one year deal” it isn’t our $15.5 million bucks on the line. There is also the matter of Haren’s declining numbers across the board.

Haren posted a below-average FIP for the first time in his career, allowing more home runs than the last time everyone wondered “what’s wrong with Dan Haren?”

That year (2010 with the Diamondbacks) looked like a little bit of batted ball bad luck when Haren thrived upon arriving in Los Angeles. His 2012 numbers look more like a guy who made more than 33 starts a year for seven years wearing down, missing time with an ever-troublesome bad back.

The Cubs are well positioned to gamble that isn’t the case, the Angels (and presumably your favorite team) are not. If the Cubs get a better version of Haren, their rotation is actually something worth watching (with Garza, Samardzija, and Travis Wood) until such time that Jed Hoyer opts to unload one of his starters for more building blocks.

If Haren is the slightly broken down, more league-averageish version of himself, the Cubs let him finish out the year and he walks just as Carlos Marmol would have: without the burden of a qualifying offer, free to ply his wares to the highest bidder.

The Angels…well the Angels sure better sign Zack Greinke or else Mike Trout is going to have to work on his change up. Maybe the Angels know something the Cubs (and everyone else) doesn’t and they can get Carlos Marmol back firing strikes and leaving a trail of whiffs in his wake. Or they added a big arm for the middle innings. Save a few Greinkebucks and hope their offense keeps doing what it does. Whatever. Their eyes are firmly locked elsewhere for the time being.

Comments (20)

  1. WTF would the cubs want with Haren, a pitcher with a 1 year option who, even if they sign longer term, will be well into his decline by the time they’re competitive. That’s if he isn’t already. Better not be true. Fucking Cubs.

    • He makes them better for 2013 and, if healthy and effective, can be flipped at the deadline or maybe net a pick at the end of the year. At worst he’s league average, good for 30 starts unless he’s REALLY hurt.

      Not so bad, really. Imagine you’re an Angels fan!

  2. the fuck???????

  3. Great move for the Cubs. Haren has huge upside still. They’ve traded 60 innings for 200 potential innings and few million dollars more. Not to mention the Cubs can do a couple of things with him. Now they have much more time than the Angels did to trade him even before the season starts giving them the ability to maximize his value. They also can as others have rightly said, flip mid-season for prospects.

  4. If his back is healthy there should be no reason Haren doesn’t dominate again. I’m a bitter Jays fan right now.

    • I think the steady declines in velocity and missed bats over the last three years suggest there are many reasons he may not dominate again.

      • I’m not going to get into a spitting match about the word dominate. A shitty back explains the 88 MPH imo. 1 MPH dip is nothing to worry about at his age and his production. He’s as close to an ace as you can get when healthy. He’s getting old yes, but his mechanics keep his shoulder healthy enough to get back to his game.

        • Okay, but what about the velocity drops over each of the last three years? Same back then, too?

          • Take out 2012 with the injuries or look at the months before and after and he seems to do fine at reduced velocity or not as 2011 shows and as the big drop in velocity showed from 08 to 09.

            Also lets remember this is primarily a sinker ball /cutter pitcher. I think the velocity drop would matter more if he was throwing flatter 4 seamers. The numbers he’s put up in the past certainly show he’s successful in a range of velocities.

          • He went from 91 to 90. 88 suffering from a back issue. Nothing to worry about.

            • Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in what Haren can do. But adjusting expectations might be in everyone’s best interests. Many teams, the Angels included, are wary.

          • hence “If his back is healthy”

          • Do the Angels know something about the back that we don’t? Possible. They could also be dumping $$$ to offer the moon to Greinke.

          • You have a valid point Drew with regards to expectations. One thing we’ve all seen from pitchers year to year is that expectations can fall short at any time for a number of reasons.

            I just really like the deal, because from what I am seeing, all the upside is now in the Cubs hands.

  5. Now the deal looks dead.

  6. Welp, if those pics are real good luck dealing him now.

  7. I have no idea what kind of deal he will get in free agency now, and if the Jays will even want to go there.

  8. Now let’s hope the Jays trade for him now that he’s on the cubs. I think it would be easier as the cubs need any kind of talent (prospect or veteran) as the halo’s needed bullpen or infield depth.

  9. Dan Haren’s medicals must be scary if every team passed on him.

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