Cardinals Covet Dan Haren

The Cardinals traded Dan Haren away in 2004, but they like the idea of bringing him back. Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are one of the teams that covet the D’Backs righty and it doesn’t sound like Haren would mind returning to St. Louis.

“I’ve always said I’d like to play here again,” Haren said, clarifying that he is not asking for a trade.

Haren has limited say in his future, since he doesn’t have a no trade clause. He does have $33.3MM remaining on his contract, and that figure will likely mean some would-be suitors shy away. He makes $750K less than Cliff Lee this year, but has nearly $30MM remaining on his contract after 2010, unlike Lee. That kind of commitment may mean the Cardinals pursue other pitchers.

The Cardinals don’t have Albert Pujols under control after 2011, and have made major commitments to Matt Holliday and Kyle Lohse. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are getting paid handsomely, so the Cards may not have the money to add Haren and pay Pujols market value. Other teams, including the Yankees, Twins, Nationals and Tigers, scouted Haren last week according to Nick Cafardo, but the D’Backs aren’t necessarily going to deal him, even if they are open to making deals.

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