Dan Haren Rumors

Quick Hits: Sabathia, Red Sox, Indians, Cardinals

C.C. Sabathia's deal with the Yankees could turn out to be an ugly one, Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com writes. "That contract might not be a disaster of A-Rod-ian proportions, but unless Sabathia finds a way to turn it all round, it might turn out to be the next-worst thing," Matthews writes. Sabathia has three years left on his contract, plus a vesting option for 2017 that the Yankees can avoid only if Sabathia has a left shoulder injury. All told, the Yankees are likely to be on the hook for $96MM after this season. Sabathia's season arguably isn't as bad as his 4.81 ERA makes it look — his peripherals are indicative of ERA about a run lower. But his declining velocity is a serious concern. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Red Sox's huge trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers one year ago gave them the payroll flexibility to acquire Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Koji Uehara, and Jonny Gomes, Scott Miller of CBS Sports writes. But that doesn't mean the Dodgers are unhappy with their end of the deal — Miller notes that it "changed the path of both franchises." Miller also quotes Dodgers manager Don Mattingly noting that his team likely would have pursued Victorino (for whom they had traded in July 2012) as a free agent if they hadn't acquired Crawford.
  • The trade also gave the Sox the flexibility to acquire Jake Peavy, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal notes. Peavy's matchup against Chris Capuano on Sunday reminds MacPherson that the Red Sox made a "desperate attempt" to acquire Capuano from the Mets in 2011. The talent gap between Peavy and Capuano is significant, and MacPherson argues that the trade with the Dodgers made the difference in acquiring Peavy this time.
  • There will be interest in Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez this offseason if the Indians want to trade them, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. Cabrera has struggled this season, hitting .237/.292/.389, and he's set to make $10MM in the last year of his contract in 2014. Perez, meanwhile, is set to earn a raise in arbitration on his $7.3MM 2013 salary before becoming a free agent after 2014. His pitching hasn't been stellar in 2013 — he has a 3.30 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Hoynes may be right that the Indians could deal Perez if they wanted to. For example, the Red Sox's offseason trade for Joel Hanrahan, a pitcher with a similar salary and contract situation, perhaps shows that teams are always willing to deal for an established closer. But that deal also demonstrates just how volatile closers can be, and Perez has never been dominant in the way Hanrahan once was.
  • As the August trade deadline approaches, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says that his team is unlikely to make a trade, Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch tweets. That makes it unlikely that the Cards will wind up with Dan Haren of the Nationals. The Cardinals recently lost Jake Westbrook to injury and have replaced him in the rotation with Tyler Lyons, at least for now.

NL East Links: DeJesus, Suzuki, Haren, Phillies

Adam Kilgore has plenty on the Nationals' recent trades of David DeJesus and Kurt Suzuki in an article for The Washington Post. According to Kilgore, GM Mike Rizzo anticipated from the beginning that he would be able to acquire a prospect for DeJesus after putting in a claim on the outfielder. “Whenever you can net a good, young 22-year-old controllable guy, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Rizzo said, referring to one of two pitching prospects that the Nats will receive from the Rays in exchange for DeJesus. "It’s acquiring assets. That’s really the reason you utilize your positioning on the waiver wire."  Earlier this evening, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports heard from a few executives who wondered aloud if the claim might have been a mistake by the Nats.  Here's some more Saturday night NL East links…

  • The Nats “most definitely” plan to try to sign DeJesus this offseason if the Rays decline his $6MM option for 2014, Rizzo says.  The GM essentially told DeJesus so when they spoke Friday morning, according to Kilgore.
  • Trading Suzuki to the A's is a suggestion of the confidence the Nats have in catcher Wilson Ramos moving forward, Kilgore says. “[Ramos] wants to be that guy who plays each and every game," Rizzo said. "We thought it was a good opportunity for us to forego four weeks or so of Suzuki and get ourselves a prospect out of it.” MLBTR's Jeff Todd profiled Ramos as an extension candidate earlier this evening.
  • Rizzo will require a significant package of talent in any trade for Dan Haren, who has a 2.16 ERA in 50 innings since returning from the DL and will become a free agent after the season. Haren is owed approximately $2.63MM for the remainder of the season. 
  • GM Ruben Amaro Jr. faces the unenviable task of rebuilding the Phillies' bullpen this offseason, Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer says, calling the club's relief corps one of baseball's worst. Gelb suggests that a "total re-evaluation of the team's scouting methods and developmental strategy" may be necessary, but says he expects Amaro to again pursue veteran relievers in free agency after the season's end. Pitching coach Rich Dubee, whose contract expires at the end of the season, isn't likely to remain with the club in 2014, Gelb adds.
  • Amaro may look to bolster the Phillies' statistics department, according to an article by Tyler Kepner of The New York Times“We may be looking to fortify some of our information with some more statistical analysis," Amaro said. "I’m not so stubborn that we can’t try to do things a little bit different, or think that we can’t make better decisions." However, scouting and player development will remain the Phils' focus, Amaro added.

Quick Hits: Dodgers, Nationals, DeJesus, Ripken

Last August's blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez / Carl Crawford / Josh Beckett deal between the Dodgers and Red Sox is a winner for both teams, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. Despite Gonzalez, Crawford and Nick Punto all playing fairly well and the Dodgers having a very successful season so far, however, there is still a case to be made that the Dodgers would have been better off to hold onto James Loney and their prospects and spend their money elsewhere — Rosenthal notes that the deal may have helped the Red Sox, themselves in the midst of a strong season, to pursue veterans like Shane Victorino and Jake Peavy. In any case, Rosenthal's article is a fascinating look behind a major deal. He chronicles how conversations involving the two teams' presidents and even Red Sox owner John Henry helped shape the trade. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • The Nationals recently traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Rays, but the Nats could try to acquire DeJesus again in the offseason if the Rays don't pick up his 2014 option, MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes (via Twitter). DeJesus is owed $6.5MM in 2014, with a $1.5MM buyout.
  • The Nats are open to trading Dan Haren, but GM Mike Rizzo says they would want "a good package of players" in return, Ladson reports. It seems unlikely that any team would meet that price, since Haren has already cleared waivers. In 132 innings this season, Haren has a 4.64 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. He has about $3MM remaining on his contract before he becomes a free agent at the end of the year.
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon says the depth DeJesus has added to the team makes his job "more difficult — in a good way," Sam Strong and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com report. "We have to be creative in resting people," says Maddon. "I don't want anyone too tired. We've taken advantage of these off-days to keep everyone spiffy to this point, but we have to be careful moving forward. New players help that. It takes more than nine people to win a World Series." DeJesus started in left field for the Rays as they took on the Yankees on Friday, while rookie Wil Myers did not play.
  • Former Orioles great Cal Ripken is more interested in a big-league managerial job than he has been in the past, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports. His interest could extend to the Nationals job, which will be open once Davey Johnson retires at the end of the season. "I’ve been asked to interview for many managing jobs, and I never said yes because I was never serious about it, and I thought it would be wrong to go through that process," says Ripken. "I haven’t been asked by [the Nationals]. … I think I would be more curious at this stage in my life than I have been."


Dan Haren, Erik Bedard Clear Waivers

Nationals pitcher Dan Haren and Astros hurler Erik Bedard have cleared waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan and White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom have also cleared waivers and even though the clubs floated them out there prior to the non-waiver deadline, it's not clear how much interest they'll generate.

Haren was first placed on waivers last week, so the news that he cleared doesn't come as a surprise.  The Nats were expecting more than a 4.99 ERA when they signed the 32-year-old to a one-year, $13MM contract this offseason but his 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 are promising. Haren is owed just under $3.7MM for the remainder of the year.  The Nationals still have a shot at catching the Reds for the final Wild Card spot, however, and they're likely not in sell mode at the moment.

Bedard, 34, isn't a world-beater, but he could appeal to clubs as he is owed roughly $300K for the rest of the season.  The veteran owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013.

Lindstrom, 33, has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 58 relief appearances for the White Sox this season.  The right-hander has been a little stronger in years past as he owns a career 3.62 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.


Players Who Have Cleared Waivers

MLBTR will continue to update this post as players reportedly clear revocable trade waivers, making it a running list of players that may be traded to any club in the season's final two months. Remember though, players must be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for their new team's postseason roster. Click here for a further explanation of the August waiver and trade rules. Also bear in mind that a player's no-trade rights remain effective even if he clears waivers. Player names are linked to the source articles, and this article can always be found under the MLBTR Features portion of the sidebar on the right side of the page.

Last Updated: 8-15-2013

  • Elvis Andrus, Rangers — Andrus is under contract for an additional nine years and $124.475MM, making it no surprise that teams passed on claiming him. He was hitting .255/.317/.306 at the time he cleared waivers — a notable decline in production for the 24-year-old. The Rangers reportedly have no intention to trade him.
  • Erik Bedard, Astros — Bedard owns a 4.28 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 21 starts and two relief outings in 2013 for Houston.  The southpaw, who cleared waivers on Aug. 14, would be a really cheap pickup as he is owed just $300K for the rest of the season.  
  • Dan Haren, Nationals — Haren was placed on waivers on Aug. 8 without any clubs biting on him and his remaining $3.7MM in salary.  The right-hander owns a 4.99 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 so far in 2013 and he could be of interest to teams if the Nationals fall further back in the Wild Card chase. 
  • Brendan Ryan, Mariners — Word came down of Ryan clearing waivers on Aug. 14.  The M's were said to have him available before July 31st but couldn't find any takers.  
  • Matt Lindstrom, White Sox — Everyone needs relief help, but the White Sox were selling at the non-waiver deadline and couldn't find a suitable deal for Lindstrom.  The reliever, who has a 3.47 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9, cleared waivers on Aug. 14.
  • Justin Morneau, Twins — Morneau cleared waivers on Aug. 14, when he had roughly $3.5MM remaining on his $14MM salary. A free agent at season's end, Morneau was dreadful in July, batting .175/.266/.330. He homered six times in his first 10 games of August though, which could make teams reconsider their stance.
  • Barry Zito, Giants — Zito cleared waivers on Aug. 14, but at that point still had $5.14MM remaining on his $20MM salary. With an ERA north of 5.00 and that kind of money remaining on his deal, it seems likely that Zito will play out the rest of his widely panned contract in San Francisco.
  • Josh Johnson, Blue Jays — With more than $4MM left on his salary at the time he was placed on waivers, no team was apparently willing to take a risk that the big righty's poor results will begin to reflect his more promising peripherals. Unless Johnson hits an August hot streak, it seems likely that the Jays will hold onto him and consider whether to make him a qualifying offer when he reaches free agency at the end of the year.
  • Adam Dunn, White Sox — That Dunn cleared waivers isn't a huge surprise, given his $15MM salary in 2013 and in 2014. He's been red-hot since June 1, however, which could lead contending AL teams such as the Orioles and Rangers to show interest if the White Sox are willing to include some cash in the deal.
  • Jimmy Rollins, Phillies — Rollins has taken a big step back in production this year (especially on the power side of the ledger) and is owed $11MM for 2014 (and possibly the same for 2015 if his option vests). The 34-year-old shortstop seems discinclined to waive his full no-trade rights, making him unlikely to change hands.
  • Michael Young, Phillies — The third baseman could be an August trade candidate given his expiring contract, experience, and serviceable (if unspectacular) 2013 campaign. He is reportedly willing to waive his no-trade protection to go to a contender.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Placed On Waivers: Kyle Lohse, Dan Haren

Here is Thursday's rundown of names that have been placed on revocable trade waivers…

  • Kyle Lohse: The Brewers placed Lohse on waivers yesterday, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The claiming period for him ends tomorrow. The 34-year-old Lohse is enjoying another fine campaign in his first season with Milwaukee. He's pitched to a 3.23 ERA with 5.8 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 and a 39.2 percent ground-ball rate in 139 1/3 innings on the season. Lohse is owed $11MM in each of the next two seasons and is earning $11MM this season as well. However, $7MM of that total is deferred to 2016-18, so he's technically only owed $1.136MM of this year's $4MM guarantee. Lohse's cost isn't exorbitant, but an additional $22MM for his age-35 and age-36 seasons may give some teams pause.
  • Dan Haren: Knobler also tweets that the Nationals placed Haren on waivers today. Washington was clearly expecting more when they signed Haren to a one-year, $13MM contract this offseason. The former ace has just a 5.14 ERA, though he's posted a strong 8.0 K/9 rate with his usual elite command (1.7 BB/9). Haren has been bitten by the homer bug, allowing an NL-leading 21 bombs this season. Haren's past five starts have showed promise, though. He's sporting a 2.40 ERA in that time with 32 strikeouts against eight walks in 30 innings. Most importantly, he's surrendered just two homers in that time. He's owed just under $3.7MM for the remainder of the year.

For a reminder on how revocable trade waivers and August trades work, check out MLBTR's August trades primer.


Quick Hits: Haren, Rodriguez, Extensions

Let's take a look at a few stray links to round out the weekend …

  • Nationals starter Dan Haren has begun to turn around his difficult season, and sounds prepared to leave D.C. when he becomes a free agent after this season. As MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports, Haren acknowledges that he has failed to "live[] up to the billing so far," and that his "heart says [he] probably won't be back." The veteran righty also noted his interest in being closer to his family, which makes its home in Southern California.
  • With Alex Rodriguez apparently prepared to fight his reportedly upcoming suspension, sources tell the New York Daily News that Rodriguez "may accuse the Yankees in his appeal of mishandling his injuries, forcing him to turn to other alternatives to stay on the field." Were Rodriguez to pursue such an approach, however, he could run into other issues with his contract. As I recently explored in the context of a hypothetical lawsuit between MLB teams and players, the MLB Basic Agreement requires a player to provide advance notice of any medical treatment for baseball-related injuries. 
  • How have recent early-career contract extensions held up over time? To approach the question, Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus looked at it another way: standing here today, would the team choose to sign the player to the portion of the deal that remains? While the full article requires a subscription, the Baseball Prospectus team also discussed this issue in their most recent podcast. While some deals have clearly worked out to date, others are more debatable, such as those given White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, Royals pitcher Wade Davis, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, and Diamondbacks hurler Trevor Cahill. (Also included in the BP podcast is an interesting discussion of the international slot bonus system.)

Injury Updates On Impending Free Agent Starters

The upcoming crop of free agent starters has been rife with injuries this season. While Matt Garza and Josh Johnson look to have returned from the DL healthy and very effective since our last look-in on injured hurlers, others haven't been so fortunate yet. Here's an update on some hurlers whose stock is suffering due to injuries…

  • Roy Halladay told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he's feeling good and has been tossing from 60 feet for the past few days. The Phils are hopeful that Halladay, who underwent shoulder surgery in May, will pitch again this season, but that might not happen until late August, if it happens at all. The 36-year-old could end posting his lowest innings total since 2000 as a 23-year-old — the year prior to his breakout as one of baseball's most dominant forces.
  • MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports that Jason Vargas will undergo surgery to alleviate a blood clot in his left armpit. The procedure will shut down Vargas entirely for two weeks, and he might not be back on a Major League mound until the end of July. Vargas averages nearly 6 2/3 innings per start, so those five weeks could cost him between 40 and 50 innings of work. The injury couldn't come at a worse time, as Vargas is in the midst of his best season, and his durability is one of his greatest assets. Beyond that, the loss of one of their best starters this season could place the Halos in a deeper hole and push them toward selling at this year's deadline.
  • Dan Haren hit the disabled list this weekend with a vague shoulder injury. Manager Davey Johnson told MLB.com's Bill Ladson the soreness has kept Haren from getting loose prior to his past couple of outings. Haren sounded irritated by his placement on the DL, according to Ladson, and noted any soreness he's feeling is nothing he hasn't pitched through before. Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington tweets that Haren's MRI came back clean and he received a cortisone shot yesterday. Haren's ERA is a bloated 6.15, and he is tied for the Major League lead in homers allowed.
  • As of this Sunday, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted that A.J. Burnett has yet to throw off a mound since being placed on the disabled list by the Pirates. Burnett is in the midst of one of the finest seasons of his career, but has no timetable for his return. His bout with free agency this offseason figured to be an intriguing one anyhow, as he's stated publicly that he would likely only return to the Pirates or retire. A serious DL stint could make him question a return even more.

If Vargas can recover on time and finish the season healthy, he could still net a multi-year free agent deal. Any significant setback, however, would likely line him up for a one-year deal, which is likely the fate of both Haren and Halladay at this point as well. Burnett ranked eight on the most recent edition of Tim Dierkes' Free Agent Power Rankings, but an extended DL stint would likely knock him from the Top 10.


East Notes: Davis, Haren, Arrieta

The AL East is home to the hottest team in baseball as the Blue Jays tied a franchise-record by winning their 11th consecutive game this afternoon and is the only division in baseball where every team has a winning record. Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked executives and scouts from the other five divisions to predict the finishing order in the AL East. The stunning result? The Red Sox are the favorite to win the division and no one polled sees the Yankees finishing higher than third. The consensus is the Yankees will be the AL East cellar-dwellers citing age, injuries, lack of depth in the minors, and a reluctance to add future payroll. Sherman also breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of the entire division and adds his summation for each team. Elsewhere in MLB's East divisions:  

  • The Mets had an oppportunity to recall Ike Davis when Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list, but the club decided against such a move. According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the Mets wanted to protect Davis as they are entering a stretch where they face several left-handers. "You don’t want to put him back in a funk right away," manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Ackert. Davis is hitting .310/.463/.690 with four home runs in 54 plate appearances since being sent to Triple-A Las Vegas.
  • The Nationals may try to bolster their starting rotation with a trade after Dan Haren was placed on the disabled list, reports the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Haren signed a one-year, $13MM contract with the Nationals after his option was declined by the Angels when a proposed trade with the Cubs fell through over reported injury concerns.  
  • The name of the recently demoted Jake Arrieta keeps coming up as a possible trade chip for the Orioles. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes the Orioles are eventually going to have to think long and hard about how the right-hander fits and what's best for his development. Encina guesses a move to the bullpen could be part of that plan, which would allow Arrieta to concentrate on pitching in smaller spurts. 
  • ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) sees Arrieta as a Chris Davis-type situation: the talent is there, but the question is whether it will translate at some point. 

Nationals Could Pursue Right-Handed Power

One year ago at this time, the Nationals found themselves 38-27 — good for a three-game lead in the highly competitive NL East. This season, they're 35-36 and sit seven games out of first, despite high expectations following last year's near-NLCS berth. MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes that this puts them in a different position than last year as non-waiver trade deadline approaches. While the team was content to simply make an August trade for Kurt Suzuki last season, they could be players in 2013.

Ladson spoke with one source who said the team may need to pursue some right-handed bench power after Tyler Moore was unable to follow up on his strong 2012 campaign. Moore hit .263/.327/.513 with 10 homers in just 171 plate appearances last season, but he mustered just a .480 OPS with two homers in 102 trips to the plate this season.

Ladson also writes that the Nationals are expected to give Dan Haren every chance to rediscover himself on the mound. His source doesn't anticipate the Nationals to explore trades for starters at this point. Haren, who was signed to a one-year deal worth $13MM this offseason, has pitched to a 5.72 ERA in 78 2/3 innings and leads the NL with 18 homers allowed.