The Dan Haren Market

Diamondbacks interim GM Jerry Dipoto recently told CBS' Scott Miller, "We're not to the point right now where we're aggressively seeking [a Dan Haren trade]."  Still, it's time for us to summarize the Haren situation.

Contract

Haren signed a four-year, $44.75MM extension in August of 2008 under previous GM Josh Byrnes.  He has $3.45MM left this year, $12.75MM in 2011, $12.75MM in '12, and a $15.5MM club option for '13 with a $3.5MM buyout. In other words, Haren is guaranteed $32.45MM through 2012.  If Haren had never signed the extension and hit free agency after this year at age 30, would he top two years, $29MM plus a club option?  His next dozen starts are a factor, and maybe in this cautious time he wouldn't reach John Lackey money.  But I still view the contract as a bargain relative to the free agent market.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this weekend that Haren's no-trade clause allows him to block trades to a dozen teams, including the Reds.  Rosenthal's source did not feel that Haren's no-trade list would be a factor, however.

Performance

Home runs and hits allowed are up this year for Haren, who has a 4.60 ERA through 20 starts.  Though Haren's groundball rate is down a touch, his continually strong strikeout and walk rates suggest a pitcher capable of a sub-4.00 ERA from here on out.  Since 2006, Haren has posted significantly higher ERAs in the second half.  Is this a reliable trend?  Haren's home run per flyball rate seems to jump every August.  This could be a fluke – the Sabermetrics Library says home run per flyball rates "have little predictive value" year to year.  It doesn't help that Chase Field inflates home runs by about 7%, according to The Bill James Handbook.

Asking Price/Availability

We have no trade history for Dipoto, as he's been a GM for less than a month.  He told Miller he's not sure if trading Haren is smart business, but "what we do know is what value Dan brings to this team and what value he should hold in the market."  All things considered, Haren is probably the best available starting pitcher.  SI's Jon Heyman talked to one GM who described Dipoto's asking price as "two starters plus bullpen help."  Earlier this month, Rosenthal and Bob Nightengale of USA Today both said the D'Backs would need to be "overwhelmed" or "blown away" to trade Haren.  Dipoto was upfront to Miller about his reservations, saying "you might bite off your nose to spite your face" by trading the ace.

Interested Teams

  • Tigers: Miller says they "appeared to be the only club with a scout dispatched solely to bird-dog Haren" Friday night.  Back in May I noted that the Tigers should have over $50MM to play with for 2011 if they hold payroll steady, so they could afford Haren.  The Tigers have plenty of young starters that would appeal to the D'Backs.
  • Cardinals: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cards have interest in bringing Haren back and do have payroll capacity.  Still, they'd be committing half their payroll to the rotation in 2011.
  • Rockies: Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post doesn't feel that they'd overpay for Haren.
  • Yankees: A case could be made for the Yanks adding Haren.  However, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that their top two priorities are improving the bench and adding a reliever.
  • Phillies: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick said they have Haren on the radar, though David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News wondered if they'd even have the prospects to pull it off. 
  • Nationals: MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported on June 30th that they had expressed interest.  GM Mike Rizzo craves "premier, front-line starting pitching."  With Haren, the Nats would have a fearsome rotation in short order.
  • Angels: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times finds Haren to be "a natural trade target" for the Halos.
  • I imagine other clubs would be interested.  In my opinion, the White Sox, Brewers, Twins, Mets, and Padres could be fits, though the field becomes limited when you consider Arizona's asking price. 


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51 Comments on "The Dan Haren Market"


aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Given his quality and contract, I can imagine more than half the teams in baseball not only wanting him, but justifying it.

tiffcur
5 years 1 month ago

Dan Haren would be a good pickup…

$1529282
5 years 1 month ago

Insightful.

bigpat
5 years 1 month ago

Haren is a very good pitcher, but everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that he is not having a very good season thus far. He’s been far too hittable to be counted upon as an ace down the stretch, regardless of how many guys he strikes out.

I’m sure he’ll turn it around, but I think it would be hard to really kill your farm system for a guy in the middle of his worst season in a while.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

He’s had a home run spike just as fluky as Jose Bautista’s on the other side of the ball. His walk and strikeout rates have been just as strong as always, and he’s still taking the mound. I’d buy now.

Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Still giving up a ton of hits and runs though.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

His BABIP this year is 47 points higher than his career average. I’m really not worried about his performance this year.

757690
5 years 1 month ago

Considering the offer they made to get Lee, I would think that the Reds would be one of the front runners to try to get Haren. Why are they not on this list?

Guest
5 years 1 month ago

Why do teams want Dan Haren? He had a bad second half last year, a 4.60 ERA in the NL (along with 1.35 WHIP and .287 BAA) Really not worth the price the Diamonbacks think he’s worth.

verlander
5 years 1 month ago

Teams want Haren because he’s an ace.

5 years 1 month ago

how about the Tigers offer a package of Oliver, Furbush, and Perry for Haren?

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Add Turner to that package and maybe. I know that badly wounds the Tigers system, but Oliver and Furbush aren’t good enough to be the best and second best players in a Haren package, and Perry needs to stop walking more than a guy every two innings before he’s a prominent chip.

Civilization
5 years 1 month ago

The only way I see Dombrowski giving up Turner is if he’s part of a package to net both Haren and Drew. Which of course complicates everything about 3 times more then it is now. Unless the Tigers get Drew to plug in at shortstop over the next few years, I don’t see Turner leaving our system. If that means we don’t land Haren, then C’est la vie.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Well, Dombrowski’s not shy about the cartoonishly big trade, but you might be right that that’s the only way it works.

Fangaffes
5 years 1 month ago

Buster needs to catch up. Pettitte is out for several weeks, Hughes is running out of innings, and the pressure is getting to Burnett.

DJ_2
5 years 1 month ago

Agreed. The Yankees definitely have reason to pursue Haren and have the pieces as well. I would like to see Haren go to the Yanks.

$1529282
5 years 1 month ago

But Pettitte will be back by the playoffs, which will leave them with the combination of Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, and Vazquez for the postseason rotation. Their bench and bullpen will still be “weaknesses” (I use that term loosely because it’s hard to legitimately talk about a 58-win team’s weaknesses in mid-July) unless they’re improved now.

It’s certainly possible that the Yankees still prefer to address their bench and bullpen before looking at a starter for that reason.

5 years 1 month ago

Ask Pujols who he wants on the team and make it happen. I wouldn’t mine Haren coming back to STL. Duncan could easily get him back to #2/#3 form. All depends on Penny/Lohse’s status. More likely STL looks for a middle IF bat.

rbeezy
5 years 1 month ago

I have no doubt Haren would be a stud in Detroit. But do they really want to give up Turner , Oliver or Crosby plus a a relief arm(s) for 1 guy. Haren does not even make Detroit the favourite in the Central. I think they need to play out the year and give the rookies lots of playing time. Let Oliver , Crosby and Turner develop and pick up an arm then they will have a good 3-4 year window to take a run at a WS championship in 2012-2015.

5 years 1 month ago

they wont be giving up Crosby. he’s been shut down the rest of the year.

bomberj11
5 years 1 month ago

Haren and Drew packaged with a deal centered around Porcello.

Sampsonite168
5 years 1 month ago

Haren is a good pitcher but he’s having a down year and has consistently been worse in the second half than in the first half. Not exactly an ideal trade deadline pickup. I can’t see any team who isn’t contending year in and year out taking the plunge on him. Highly doubt he gets traded this season anyway.

5 years 1 month ago

I really hope my Rangers have NO interest in Haren. He is a flyballstrikeout pitcher and he would give up a ton of HR’s in our Ballpark.

5 years 1 month ago

And the Rockies and Phillies are in a similar situation…

Yankeeboy11
5 years 1 month ago

Why would the Rangers be interested in him >_> They got Cliff Lee they don’t need anyone else and I highley doubt they can add more money..

firealyellon
5 years 1 month ago

Considering there have been zero rumors about Haren and Kenny Williams, I’d put my money on the Sox: KW, professional trade sniper.

rbeezy
5 years 1 month ago

What 2 blue chip starters would they deal ? They don’t match up well. They’ll be looking for a 4 or 5 guy or a big bat.

firealyellon
5 years 1 month ago

Viciedo+Hudson would at least pass the laugh test.

5 years 1 month ago

Justin upton and haren for a 2009 yankee signed ball

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

The D’backs might have to throw in a prospect or 2 to make it worth it. 😉

dbacknation
5 years 1 month ago

Keep in mind- his W/L record and ERA are mis-leading. Lack of run support and inheireted runners score with our pathetic bullpen. Harem is better than his #’s show.

jdub220
5 years 1 month ago

No one really looks at those numbers anyways.

verlander
5 years 1 month ago

Tigers fans seem to. Well, the knowledgeable ones do.

I actually looked at all of Haren’s game logs to find out how many inherited runners were allowed to score. It was actually not as much as I’d suspected, but enough to skew his ERA.

jdub220
5 years 1 month ago

If Tigers fans look at W/L record and ERA, then they aren’t very knowledgeable.

Haren has a .351 BABIP, and it’s not because he’s been more hittable… he actually has the highest K rate of his career, and his batted ball percentages are pretty much the same. He’s the same Dan Haren, he’s just been unlucky. Also, he’ll give up a lot less homeruns if he’s pitching in Comerica rather than Chase.

verlander
5 years 1 month ago

//If Tigers fans look at W/L record and ERA, then they aren’t very knowledgeable.//

The ones on Motownsports don’t at least. K/BB.

Tigerfan93
5 years 1 month ago

As much as I would love to have Dan Haren, I want Detroit to wait until the offseason to spend money or take on payroll. Detroit could be in play for Carl Crawford, and possibly Cliff Lee this year, so taking on payroll might be able to wait. However, I will acknowledge that something needs to be done in order to win the division.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

I’d rather have Haren and his existent contract than sign 32-year old Cliff Lee for more than $90 million.

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

But you also have to give up the prospects to get Haren, whereas Lee only costs money (and the risk of having an albatross in ~4 years).

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Don’t forget the draft pick. Lee is older, has more recent injury history, has a shorter track record of success, will cost more money per year, will require more years, and will cost a draft pick.

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

All of that’s true, but if you’re the Tigers, which looks better: Lee + big contract + Turner, Crosby, & Porcello – draft pick OR Haren + draft pick + cost certainty – at least one of Porcello/Turner and others.

With 50+MM coming off the books this year and another 20+ coming off after next season, I think the Tigers would rather gamble with the money, but that’s just my opinion.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

There’s a question of window, though. By the time Crosby or Turner is ready, and maybe by the time Porcello is really ready to deliver, Guillen, Valverde, Ordonez, Damon, and Inge will be gone and/or toast. Boesch will never be this good again, most likely. Haren allows you to make a run this year. If you don’t win this year, you might have to wait a couple of years to let the other guys develop around Cabrera, Verlander, and Jackson to have a meaningfully good team. In that case, I probably don’t want to sign Lee, because I’m less confident two years down the line.

ralphvoice
5 years 1 month ago

Tigers top prospects that could be available?

koz91
5 years 1 month ago

It would be awesome if he went to the Cardinals. And they want him too. Buy now while the value may be a little lower until Duncan turns him around.

Yankees420
5 years 1 month ago

Cards system is thin, and almost every Cardinal fan that I’ve seen post on this site does not want to give up Miller, and Haren would surely cost Miller +.

Lanidrac
5 years 1 month ago

I really don’t see the Cardinals trading for Haren. Besides the unaffordable prospect cost, we’d have to trade Ludwick this offseason and decline Carpenter’s 2012 option (assuming we resign Pujols) to afford Haren’s future salaries, and I’d rather have a relatively cheap Ludwick next year and $13M for Carpenter in 2012 than $12.5M for Haren for the next 2 years.

polishboy654
5 years 1 month ago

White Sox should trade Floyd, Hudson, Teahen and add 2 more players but not Beckaham for Dan Haren and Mark Renolds