Today in Stunning Revelations

Hold onto your hats, everyone. Dan Haren’s agent has some breaking news about Dan Haren. Gather round!

From Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal:

“He’s healthy,” said Greg Landry, Haren’s agent, at the general managers’ meetings on Wednesday. “He’s totally healthy. I’m not exactly sure about the questioning. He finished the season relatively strong. I’ve read all the stuff. But we have a lot of interest.”

Hold the phone! An agent insists his client his healthy in the run-up to a professional baseball team potentially spends millions of dollars for his baseball playing services! Glad that’s settled, then.

While Haren’s representation swears up and down the right-hander is healthy, it seems 29 other teams are less than convinced. As Dave Cameron of Fangraphs pointed out earlier this week, if the asking price was little more than Carlos Marmol, why wouldn’t another suitor spring the fore when the Cubs/Angels deal for Haren’s services fell through?

More to the point: why wouldn’t the Angels have picked up his one year option? Conspiratorially minded as much of this appears, the apparent radioactivity of Dan Haren speaks louder than any one agent acting his client’s — not to mention his own — best interests.

Haren’s agent eagerly plays a little Arbitrary Endpoint Theatre by point out his client’s strong finish to the season, making 13 starts without incident after coming back from injury. Haren posted a 56/12 strikeout to walk ratio while allowing 12 home runs across those 56 innings. His OPS against was a full 100 points lower in this second half, though his BABIP also plunged in the second half.

The line about “a lot of interest” is completely believable. What team wouldn’t kick the tires on Haren, hoping to catch a potential #2 starter in a bounce back season at a cut-rate price? Like almost all veteran pitchers with injury question marks, the opportunity for savings is offset by the widespread interest in getting something for nothing.

It isn’t as though Haren is going unsigned, he just represents a good risk/reward bargain .If Dan Haren is, in fact, healthy; some team is likely to get a very good pitcher at a reduced rate this season. If he isn’t…can a team risk a multi-year contract to find out?