Dan Haren Rumors

Dan Haren “Probably” Retiring After 2015 Season

Newly-acquired Cubs righty Dan Haren is leaning towards ending his career once this season is over, Haren told reporters including MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.  Upon being dealt to Chicago, Haren tweeted that he would wearing jersey #50 as a Cub, which was his number when he first broke into the big leagues “and it’ll probably be my last.”

Expanding on that tweet, Haren left himself a bit of wiggle room but “I would say right now the chances are this will probably be it.  I don’t want to say this is it and pull a Brett Favre. That’s why I said ‘probably’ [on Twitter]. At least I leave myself a little way out.  Chances are this is it.  After the season, I’ll relax and see where I’m at. I definitely want to make a push to get to where this team wants to go.”

The decision isn’t a surprise, given that Haren considered retiring last offseason after being traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins.  Haren has spoke openly about the difficulty of being away from his wife and children and his home in southern California, so it may be that an offer from a team in that region may be the only thing that changes Haren’s mind about retirement.

If this is indeed it for Haren, he’ll go out with an impressive 13-year stint in the majors that saw him make three All-Star teams and earn just under $81.5MM.  Haren, who turns 35 in September, posted a 3.77 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 4.07 K/BB rate from 2003-2014 with the Cardinals, A’s, Diamondbacks, Angels, Nationals and Dodgers.  He’s still pitching effectively this year (a 3.42 ERA in 129 innings for Miami), which is why the Cubs pursued him at the deadline to bolster the back end of their rotation.


Dodgers Notes: Money, Olivera, Samardzija

This week’s complicated three-way trade looks like a great move for the Dodgers, a mixed bag for the Braves, and another deal for the Marlins which appears to be financially motivated, Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d) writes.  The Dodgers badly needed another starter given the injuries in their rotation and lack of organizational depth and Law believes that Mat Latos is probably worth two extra wins to L.A. the rest of the way. Here’s more out of L.A.

  • The Dodgers are paying $85.75MM for eight players no longer with the organization, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Hector Olivera‘s $28MM signing bonus is the biggest expenditure on the list. Matt Kemp ($18MM) and Dan Haren ($10MM) round out of the eight figure commitments.
  • In a second piece, Shaikin wonders whether the Dodgers even have a financial limit. GM Farhan Zaidi says yes, then goes on to elaborate that “nobody has ever mentioned a number to us.” The Dodgers are projected to pay a record $43MM in luxury taxes this season. It’s possible that number could increase in August. Zaidi did allude to a time when the Dodgers will field a more typical payroll with the help of cost controlled talent.
  • Also from Shaikin, the Dodgers are currently paying for 25 percent of the Marlins payroll. The players’ union has taken fresh notice of Miami’s penchant to deal talent for financial relief.
  • The Dodgers looked into White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija “some time ago,” tweets Shaikin. Talks did not progress. After a brutal start to the season, the Pale Hose are just two games below .500 and 3.5 games behind the second Wild Card. Undoubtedly, the surging roster affected their willingness to sell Samardzija.

Cubs Acquire Dan Haren

The Cubs have acquired righty Dan Haren from the Marlins for shortstop Elliot Soto and righty Ivan Pineyro. The Marlins will also send $500K in the deal, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets.

"JunHaren, 34, has had a nice season in Miami after several marginal campaigns over the last three years. He’s worked to a 3.42 ERA with 6.1 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9 on the year.

But those results have come in spite of a continued velocity decline (86 mph on his fastball on the year) and, more worryingly, less-than-excellent peripherals. ERA estimators see him as a 4+ ERA arm in terms of his actual contributions, with a low BABIP (.248) and high strand rate (82.6%) aiding his run prevention.

That being said, Haren has provided 129 innings already, showing the kind of durability that he did as a much younger starter. And the Cubs have reportedly been seeking not only young, controllable starting pitching but also depth pieces for the current season. With Haren set to become a free agent after the year, he certainly figures to fill some innings down the stretch.

Financials have played a big role in Haren’s market, with some teams talking with Miami asking for cash to come with him. It’s unclear as yet how that will work out in this trade.

The Marlins picked up Haren in the offseason as part of the Dee Gordon deal, with the Dodgers chipping in $10MM (the equivalent of Haren’s salary this season) in the trade. In the meantime, though, he’s begun racking up incentives through his high games started and innings tallies. If he maxes them out, as he’s on pace to do, he’d tack on another $3MM in obligations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Wittenmyer initially reported that Haren was headed to Chicago, with Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reporting the Marlins would receive Soto and Pineyro.



Marlins Seeking Controllable Pitching

The latest on the Marlins, who have already shipped Dan Haren to the Cubs…

Earlier Updates

  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Marlins are looking for controllable young pitching, with names such as Tyson Ross of the Padres, Carlos Carrasco of the Indians, and Nate Karns of the Rays in play.
  • A number of teams are calling on recently-demoted outfielder Marcell Ozuna, tweets Frisaro.  The Marlins have no urgency to move the 24-year-old, who hit 23 home runs last year.
  • The Marlins are shopping for starting pitching today, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, in what he expects to be a busy day for the club.  Frisaro notes that Dan Haren is drawing interest from several teams.  Also, reliever Carter Capps was linked to the Yankees earlier.
  • Earlier this week, the Marlins sent impending free agent Mat Latos to the Dodgers in a 13-player deal, but the move seemed mostly about salary relief for Miami.  The assumption is the Fish are seeking young, controllable starting pitching, since both Latos and Haren will be eligible for free agency after the season.

Rosenthal On Gausman, Ross, Cashner, Haren

Early Sunday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports released his latest edition of Full Count (video link).  Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the highlights..

  • A trade of highly-regarded young right-hander Kevin Gausman would be quite unpopular with many members of the Orioles organization, Rosenthal hears.  It was reported late last week that the O’s appeared to be willing to discuss the 24-year-old but skipper Buck Showalter said on Saturday called that notion “comical.”
  • Tyson Ross is drawing the most interest of any Padres starting pitcher, thanks in large part to his contractual status.  Ross is under control through 2017 while Ian Kennedy is a potential pending free agent and Andrew Cashner can be a free agent after next season.  Unsurprisingly, the Padres want a greater haul for Ross than any of their other arms.
  • Dan Haren is on pace for about 33 starts and 205 innings, totals that would trigger an additional $3MM in incentives.  The Marlins could have some extra incentive of their own to move the veteran starter since they’d only be on the hook for the prorated portion of that, saving them roughly $1MM.
  • With the pending returns of Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales, the Cardinals are one team that is not in the hunt for starting pitching.

Heyman On Padres, Tigers, Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Sox, Reds, Marlins, Yankees

The real question facing the Padres at present is not whether to buy or sell, but how far to go in moving pieces, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. At least one rival GM expects the club to “sell big,” and Heyman says that San Diego is “offering around” closer Craig Kimbrel and starter James Shields, both of whom are under long-term control. While the former would figure to have a wide market, potentially including the Blue Jays, Nationals, and Dodgers, another GM says that he believes the club would have to chip in cash to move Shields. That may indicate that he could become an August trade piece, Heyman suggests, because he could well clear waivers. San Diego is interested in adding a young shortstop, he goes on to note, and has looked at several of the Brewers options (Jean Segura, Luis Sardinas, and top prospect Orlando Arcia).

Here are more highlights from the column:

  • Heyman hears that the Tigers are still weighing their options, too, and have not decided to sell. The club could even add an arm, he says, and is likely to see how its next two series play out before reaching a final conclusion.
  • While the Cubs are indeed willing to consider including Starlin Castro or Javier Baez in a deal for Cole Hamels of the Phillies, a source tells Heyman that the team would not be interested in moving both to add the lefty. Philadelphia’s plans for Hamels remain something of a mystery, but per the report the club may be backing down from its previous high-end demands from clubs like the Dodgers (Corey Seager or Julio Urias) and Red Sox (Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart).
  • There is now virtually no chance that Phillies lefty Cliff Lee will try to make it back this year, and he appears likely to retire over the winter.
  • As they approach the deadline and look ahead to free agency, the Cubs have some limitations on their spending capacity but will nevertheless try to add David Price (at least once he hits the open market). Meanwhile, the team has at least some interest in Reds starter Mike Leake as a trade piece but are somewhat hesitant to pursue rental options. While the Giants have plenty of rotation options, they too have considered Leake.
  • While we’ve just heard a suggestion that the Orioles could reverse course, Heyman says that they are still weighing outfield additions. The team has considered rental pieces like Marlon Byrd, Gerardo Parra, and Justin Upton. And he suggests that Carl Crawford or Shane Victorino could make sense as well; presumably, Baltimore would only be interested in either if their current clubs paid down a good bit of salary.
  • The Orioles intend to make qualifying offers after the season not only to Matt Wieters and Chris Davis, but also to lefty Wei-Yin Chen. The 30-year-old never seemed like a qualifying offer-level player, but was strong last year and has put up even better results in 2015 (while significantly outperforming his peripherals, it should be noted).
  • The Red Sox have received no trade interest in struggling first baseman Mike Napoli, says Heyman, but has gotten hits on Victorino as well as bullpen arms Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
  • The White Sox are looking to add some volume if they deal righty Jeff Samardzija, says Heyman. Chicago would like to pick up four young pieces in any trade.
  • While the Marlins have fielded interest in righty Tom Koehler and super utilityman Martin Prado, the club is not interested in dealing either player at present. Meanwhile, Miami is open to dealing veteran Dan Haren, but has rebuffed at least one club that asked for money to be sent along with him.
  • The Yankees are looking at both second base and top rotation candidates, says Heyman, but don’t feel a pressing need to add in either area. New York has no interest in veteran Diamondbacks infielder Aaron Hill, he adds.
  • Be sure to check out the rest of the piece for more notes on many of the teams around the league.

NL East Notes: Alvarez, Cishek, Haren, Mets, Venable, Nats

Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez experienced a setback in his rehab from right shoulder inflammation, and his season is now in jeopardy, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Manager Dan Jennings told Spencer and others prior to Thursday’s contest: “He had a recurrence of the shoulder. We’re trying to determine if it’s going to be best for a non-surgical, or surgical procedure regarding the shoulder.” Alvarez’s injury troubles in 2015 have contributed to the team’s disappointing season. If he’s to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season, Alvarez will have made just four starts in 2015, with the end result being an ERA over 6.00.

Here’s the latest from the NL East…

  • The Dodgers, Cardinals, Twins and Blue Jays are still in the mix for former Marlins closer Steve Cishek, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Cishek’s been throwing well since returning from a brief stint at Triple-A, allowing just one earned run with an 11-to-4 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings. Frisaro also adds the Orioles to the list of teams with interest in right-hander Dan Haren, adding to recent reports that have linked the Blue Jays and Dodgers to Haren.
  • Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made a pair of definitive statements to reporters today, writes MLB.com’s Joe Trezza. First and foremost, Alderson said that none of the four young arms in his rotation — Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz — is available in trades. Alderson also insisted that ownership has provided him with the resources to take on a major contract, though he added that the media and fans alike would both take that news with a heavy grain of salt: “Now, none of you will believe me, OK? So I’m not sure why you asked the question and insisted on the answer.”
  • The Mets have interest in Padres outfielder Will Venable, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link), who echoes previous reports that Gerardo Parra is under Mets consideration as well. According to Morosi, the Cubs are intrigued by both Parra and Venable as well, however, so the Mets have some competition in regards to those two trade targets.
  • Morosi’s colleague, Ken Rosenthal, tweets that the Mets don’t feel they need to acquire a third baseman while David Wright is on the shelf, because the team is better defensively with Daniel Murphy at third base while Wright is out. Adding an outfielder — preferably one controllable beyond 2015 — is the Mets’ priority.
  • Speaking about the trade deadline in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter links), Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said, “There’s no trade I could make that could be as the guys we’re getting back [from the DL]. We will certainly be looking, but I don’t know how active we’ll be.”

Deadline Rumors: Cespedes, Cishek, Price, Gallardo, Jays, Royals, Reds, Alvarez, Padres

In another twist regarding the free agent deal he signed out of Cuba, Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes would be effectively precluded from signing with the team as a free agent after this year unless he is traded away in the interim, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. It was already a matter of common knowledge that the club could not make him a qualifying offer after the year, since his deal requires that he be released five days after its conclusion. But Rosenthal now cites a CBA provision providing that a released player also cannot be re-signed by his club until May 15 of the ensuing year. While Detroit could hold Cespedes and attempt to work out an extension at any point up to five days after the World Series, it would otherwise be unable to bring him back unless he sat out a good portion of the 2016 campaign — a highly unlikely scenario. Of course, moving him now would prevent the team from working out a deal until the power-hitting outfielder becomes a free agent. As Rosenthal notes, Cespedes has told friends that he hopes to remain with the Tigers, and Detroit has given every indication that it intends to compete next year even if it moves some pieces this summer.

There are a ton of important deadline developments to cover in the wake of the Scott Kazmir trade, so let’s get to them:

  • There is increasing action on Marlins reliever Steve Cishek, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald report (Twitter links) that there are multiple clubs involved — some with more apparent interest than the previously-reported Cardinals. The Twins are among the teams continuing to monitor the righty, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets.
  • The Dodgers currently have David Price of the Tigers as their number one target, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. But the expectation is that Detroit will hold their decision until next week.
  • Indeed, the Giants recently spoke with the Tigers regarding outfielder Rajai Davis, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports on Twitter, but were left with the impression that Detroit is still unsure of its course of action.
  • Another player on the Dodgers radar is Rangers righty Yovani Gallardo, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Though nothing is close, the two clubs have had discussions.
  • The Blue Jays sought to land Kazmir before he went to Houston, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. With the market beginning to move, the team appears to be ramping up is efforts to add a starter, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • Both the Blue Jays and the Royals are “all-in” on Reds starter Johnny Cueto, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden reports (Twitter links). Kansas City is also considering Mike Leake from Cincinnati as well as Jeff Samardzija, Dan Haren, and Mat Latos. But the club is not interested in Cole Hamels, James Shields, or Yovani Gallardo, per the report.
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty says he has a green light to sell pieces, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. They’ll make moves “if it makes sense, but we’re not going to give away players,” says Jocketty. “We’ve been talking with a lot of different people, but we haven’t been receiving offers that have us wanting to commit.”
  • One rival general manager tells Passan that the Pirates are working hard to move first baseman Pedro Alvarez (Twitter link). We’ve heard previously that Pittsburgh has interest in an upgrade, and presumably it would make an addition if it can find a taker for Alvarez.
  • Meanwhile, the Padres are officially open for business, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter). In addition to Justin Upton, the team could move relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit, outfielder Will Venable, and any number of starters. Rosenthal says that Tyson Ross is perhaps the least likely rotation piece to change hands.

NL East Notes: Latos, Haren, Cishek

The Marlins continue to receive interest in both Mat Latos and Dan Haren, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Despite conflicting reports recently, Frisaro hears that the Blue Jays do indeed have some interest in Latos, as do the Cubs. The Blue Jays are also in Haren, per the report,  and so is his former team, the Dodgers (albeit to a lesser extent). Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) characterizes Toronto as having monitored Latos, noting that it remains to be seen whether the team actually pursues him.

A few more Marlins notes …

  • Frisaro feels that it’s more likely that the Marlins will trade Latos than Haren in the next week due to the fact that trading Latos sooner comes with financial savings, whereas Haren’s $10MM salary is entirely paid for by the Dodgers. Haren could still be an August trade candidate, though, in Frisaro’s eyes.
  • Though Haren and Latos are the most popular names among Marlins trade candidates at present, Steve Cishek is drawing interest as well — specifically from the Cardinals, per the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer (Twitter link). Cishek has allowed just one earned run in 11 2/3 innings since returning to the big league roster in mid-June, so it’s certainly plausible to think that Miami could save some money and get at least something back for him.
  • An even more interesting question, perhaps, is whether the Marlins or a hypothetical new team will consider tendering Cishek a contract through arbitration. While he may not earn a significant raise, the reliever has a steep $6.65MM starting point entering his second-to-last year of eligibility.
  • Former Marlins backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia discussed his tenure in Miami with Spencer, He expressed some disappointment with the way things ended and the fact that he did not get a chance to make good on his contract, but acknowledged that he fell short of expectations. On the whole, his comments seemed thoughtful and genuine, and are worth a full read.

Latest On Blue Jays’ Interest In Marlins Starters

10:48am: Toronto has no interest in Latos but might consider Dan Haren, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter links). He notes that the club is very aware of maintaining a healthy “clubhouse mix” in making any additions.

10:14am: Latos is little more than a back-up solution for the Jays, a team source tells Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star (via Twitter). The team has yet even to discuss any prospect names with Miami, says Griffin, indicating that talks have not progressed very far.

9:32am: While Toronto is “tracking” Latos, he’s not among the team’s “top targets,” Morosi clarifies on Twitter.

8:46am: The Blue Jays are one of multiple teams with current interest in Marlins starter Mat Latos, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reported earlier in the month that Toronto was taking a look at Latos as a possible acquisition target.

Certainly, the more recent results have been impressive. As many others have noted, Latos has featured increased velocity and improved production since dealing with knee issues early in the year. He’s been particularly impressive in his last two outings, allowing five hits, three walks, and one earned run combined over 14 frames while racking up 23 groundball outs and 14 strikeouts.

Latos, of course, comes with some questions. Though he’s pretty much always produced positive outcomes when healthy, Latos also missed half of last year. And he isn’t cheap, playing on a $9.4MM salary, though the fact that he’s a pure rental eliminates any long-term injury risk. Obviously, an acquiring team would not be eligible to make Latos a qualifying offer.

Toronto has long been said to be pursuing one or more arms, with reports suggesting that the team is exploring a wide variety of possibilities. Latos is not as exciting as some of the top names that could be available, but he is relatively affordable from a salary perspective (compared, at least, to players like David Price and Cole Hamels) and likely won’t cost as much in terms of prospects as names like Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. That’s especially important for a Toronto club that reportedly has little payroll space available and is reluctant to part with young pitching (especially given that many of those arms factor into the present big league roster equation).