Possible Offseason Outcomes For Haren, Angels

Five months of the way through a disappointing season Dan Haren's 2013 contract option doesn't look as team-friendly as it once did. The Angels right-hander has a 4.46 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 39.2% ground ball rate in 147 1/3 innings: unremarkable production from someone previously considered a top-of-the-rotation starter. 

Haren's contract includes a $15.5MM club option for 2013 with a $3.5MM buyout. Once the season ends the Angels must decide whether to bring him back for another year or decline the option and proceed from there. The situation could unfold in a variety of ways. Here’s a closer look:

Angels’ Option Decision

After the World Series ends the Angels will have to decide whether to exercise Haren’s option at $15.5MM or buy him out for $3.5MM. The net cost of $12MM seems reasonable for a 31-year-old who was one of the league's top pitchers just one year ago, but there are warning signs — a career-low average fastball velocity (88.5 mph) and a diminished swinging strike rate (8.8%) — that GM Jerry Dipoto will have to consider before committing to Haren for 2013.

Angels’ Qualifying Offer Decision

If the Angels decline Haren’s option, they’ll have to decide whether to make him a qualifying offer (under the sport’s new collective bargaining agreement, teams can extend qualifying offers to players after club/player/mutual options have been declined). The Angels will be eligible for draft pick compensation in 2013 if they make Haren a qualifying offer. Draft picks have value, but it’s not that simple. Haren could accept and if he did the Angels would owe him a salary of $13MM-plus. Combine that salary with the $3.5MM buyout and the Angels would be spending more than $16.5MM for someone they could have had for $15.5MM.

If the Angels don't make Haren a qualifying offer they won't be eligible for draft pick compensation. Meanwhile, Haren would be able to sign wherever he likes as a free agent without being linked to a draft pick (the Angels would still be an option).

Haren’s Qualifying Offer Decision

If the Angels decline Haren’s option and make him a qualifying offer, he’ll have two choices: accept and return to Anaheim for another year, or decline and seek a contract on the open market while linked to draft pick compensation. Teams are never eager to surrender top draft picks for free agents, but they’ll do it for the right player.

Haren’s free agent stock has diminished, though, and some teams could decide they aren’t parting with a draft choice to sign a pitcher coming off of a disappointing year. With this in mind, the CAA Sports client might prefer the qualifying offer to the uncertainty of free agent market. There’s a good chance Haren will never have to make that choice, but it’s a possibility worth considering as the offseason approaches.

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10 Comments on "Possible Offseason Outcomes For Haren, Angels"

2 years 11 months ago

I would say to go ahead and sign him. He’s had one bad year – so what? Give the guy a chance to bounce back.

2 years 11 months ago

I want Boston to give him a nice one year deal, mutual option for a second year sort of like Beltre had. Give the guy 10M up front and make him earn the rest. If he bounces back, he’ll get a 3-4 year deal next offseason. If not, he will work off one year deals with options from here on out.

2 years 11 months ago

If I ran a team, I’d only offer incentive-based contracts. Highly reward those that maintain good production based on career numbers and league averages at the positions, and let the underperforming players get underwhelming pay. Basically what I’m telling you is: nobody would play on my team. But it’s a nice thought anyways.

Ta-Kuan Fuan
2 years 11 months ago

The players that would jump at that type of contract are the Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones,etc of the world. Ones that were productive but are coming off injuries/bad seasons and looking to rebuild their value. Or players that are hanging on to their final days in the sun (like Vladdy Guerrero).

2 years 11 months ago

I would try to sign him as a Red Sox for 2/32 mill. Even though he has an off year, he should still be worth a number 2 or 3 slot.

2 years 11 months ago

Maybe if the second year was some sort of option. Unless a team is going to overpay in terms of dollars and years for Haren on an off year, the teams negotiating with him and his agent have the leverage.

2 years 11 months ago

They have to pick up the option. Can’t give up on the guy for one bad season especially when he played hurt for a couple of months. The trickier option is Santana’s. He’s been more inconsistent. I say pick up Haren’s, decline Santana’s, sign Greinke and give the 5th spot to Richards.

2 years 11 months ago

I would think the angels pick up the option. too risky to decline option then make a qualifying offer of over 13 mil. In the end they would pay more if he accepts and all just at the chance of getting a mid to late first round pick

2 years 11 months ago

Haren has no velocity on his fastball. TIme to say goodbye. At least Ervin has a fastball.

2 years 11 months ago

i think the thinking is that Santana’s option will be declined and if Haren’s is as well, they can use the $27 mil or so for a Greinke deal or a possible Trout extension