Dan Haren Rumors
After a relatively quiet Thanksgiving week, it’s time for MLB teams to resume their offseasons. The Rays completed a historic deal today, signing Evan Longoria to an extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through at least 2022. Here are some more news items as teams gear up for next week’s Winter Meetings...
- The Giants each obtained $377K for winning the World Series and the Tigers obtained $284K each for winning the AL pennant, according to the Sports Network (via the Miami Herald). Check out the article for the complete details on how the $65MM players' pool was divided between the ten playoff teams.
- Speaking of the Giants, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hasn’t heard anything to suggest the Giants are in on Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton (Sulia link).
- The Cardinals continue looking for a left-handed reliever, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. GM John Mozeliak said he believes in Marc Rzepczynski but intends to find another lefty reliever. "When he was a one-man band out there he didn’t pitch as well," the GM said. "That’s why we need to find someone.” Mozeliak repeated that he's open to signing a reliever to a multiyear deal.
- The Mets haven’t yet seriously explored trade options involving David Wright, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports (on Twitter). The club could explore potential trades eventually, but for now they remain hopeful of signing the third baseman to an extension.
- Teams are concerned about Dan Haren’s hip, not his back, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Haren’s bad hip won’t prevent teams from showing interest, according to Olney.
- Jason Grilli and Stephen Drew are among the undervalued free agents remaining on the open market, Jim Bowden writes at ESPN.com.
So far this offseason, only one of Tim Dierkes' Top Ten Free Agents has signed a new contract: Hiroki Kuroda (#9) re-upped with the Yankees. That's not at all uncommon at this point of the winter, as most top free agents tend to wait until the Winter Meetings in early-December before deciding on their next baseball home.
The market for outfielders Josh Hamilton (#2), Michael Bourn (#3), B.J. Upton (#5), and Nick Swisher (#6) have been pretty robust so far, ditto Zack Greinke (#1). Anibal Sanchez (#4) has generated some buzz as well, but things have been slow for Edwin Jackson (#7), Dan Haren (#8), and Kyle Lohse (#10). That will change soon enough. One of these guys will soon follow in Kuroda's footsteps and ink a new deal, but who will it be first?
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune shares a few Padres hot stove items in his weekly chat with readers...
- The Padres are interested in Dan Haren, though "it's going to be a wait and see game" if Haren is available in San Diego's price range. We've heard that teams are hesitant to offer Haren more than two years due to lingering questions about Haren's health, so the Padres could get an edge by offering Haren two years (or even two years with an option). Haren is from southern California and has "an excellent working relationship" with Padres GM Josh Byrnes from their time together with the Diamondbacks.
- Shaun Marcum is the Padres' secondary pitching target after Haren, Center reports.
- Center thinks the Padres are more likely to acquire a starting pitcher in a trade rather than in free agency, which fits with what Byrnes told MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier this month at the General Managers' meetings. Center thinks if the Padres traded for a lower-tier, "classic risk-reward acquisition" pitcher like Ubaldo Jimenez, the club could have more payroll space left to sign the likes of a Haren.
- The Padres aren't likely to pick up a major bat this winter, Center believes.
- Center also shoots down the likelihood of the Padres trading for Giancarlo Stanton, Jeremy Hellickson and Ricky Nolasco, with the first two carrying too great a cost in prospects while Nolasco is too expensive and only under contract through 2013.
- Although criticism is warranted, the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster was a legitimate baseball trade because Miami received plenty of young, high-end talent in return.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was never really in the hunt for Jose Reyes, and he has yet to be overwhelmed with an offer for Justin Upton.
- The Red Sox are more likely to deal Jarrod Saltalamacchia than Ryan Lavarnway in the wake of the David Ross signing, but only if they get a good offer.
- Both the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are interested in Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians while Boston also has some interest in Stephen Drew.
- Carl Pavano was given a clean bill of health in September after missing most of the season with a shoulder problem. His agent Dave Pepe has received a few preliminary calls, and Pavano could sign a minor league deal.
- Most executives love Dan Haren but would not be comfortable offering more than two years given concerns about his back. Most prefer a one-year deal with an option.
- Eight teams, including the Red Sox, have interest in right-hander Jason Grilli according to his agent Gary Sheffield. They have three offers at the moment but are not in a hurry to sign.
- The Indians are looking at Kevin Youkilis at first base while the Phillies and Dodgers like him at third. He's a back-burner option for Los Angeles and although Towers made a call, the Diamondbacks likely won't be involved.
Here's the latest out of the Windy City from both the White Sox and the Cubs...
- The Sox are talking to Kevin Youkilis about returning to fill their hole at third base, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Phillies and Indians are also in the mix for Youkilis, who had his $13MM option for 2013 bought out by the White Sox for $1MM.
- Four rival executives name Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza, Gavin Floyd and Dayan Viciedo as players the White Sox would be open to trading, reports Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. If the Sox were looking for salary relief, two executives say that trading Alex Rios and the $26MM remaining on his contract will be much easier after Rios' strong 2012 season, though neither exec is certain that Rios is available.
- A.J. Pierzynski tells Dan Hayes that he is much more prepared for free agency now than he was in 2010. Pierzynski said he would like to return to the White Sox or possibly play for the Rays in his home state of Florida, though his childhood dream of playing for the Braves is unlikely with Brian McCann on board.
- The Cubs have reached out to Jeff Samardzija about a multiyear extension, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Samardzija, who enjoyed a breakout year in 2012 in his first season as a starting pitcher, is arb-eligible for the first time this winter and is under team control through 2015.
- The proposed trade between the Angels and Cubs and would've brought Dan Haren to Chicago indeed fell through due to the Cubs' concerns about Haren's recent injury history, reports CSNChicago.com's David Kaplan.
- Haren denied that he was injured in an e-mail to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. “I’ve never missed any time because of injury other than the three weeks this year because of my back," Haren said. "When I came back, I had to be cleared by doctors, so obviously, I was healthy."
You've got roughly 24 hours left to participate in our Free Agent Prediction Contest, so make sure you get your picks in before midnight Central time on Wednesday. Here's the latest from around the league...
- "We'll always listen," said Clayton Kershaw to MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette and Jody McDonald when asked about a possible contract extension with the Dodgers. The left-hander did acknowledge that there have been "no conversations," however.
- "Dan is healthy," said agent Greg Landry to ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter link), referring to his client and free agent right-hander Dan Haren. There has been speculation that the Haren-Carlos Marmol swap fell apart because of concerns about Haren's back.
- Lance Berkman's agent Michael Moye told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that his client will play next year if his knees are okay in December (Twitter link). Berkman has reportedly considered retirement due to ongoing knee problems.
- Ken Davidoff of The New York Post writes that the new collective bargaining agreement might speed up the offseason calender. We'll know which free agents require draft pick compensation this Friday, but last year we had to wait until December 7th.
Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t pitched at the MLB level since 2010, but he’s ready to return to the big leagues, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Bonderman lost 35 pounds and his arm feels good following reconstructive elbow surgery. He’ll be ready to throw for teams by January and hopes to sign a minor league contract with an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Here are more of Olney’s notes from around MLB...
- Teams checked in about the availability of Brian McCann before the Braves exercised his $12MM option for 2013, Olney reports. The Braves would have wanted a decent return in a trade, but other teams were looking to acquire the catcher cheaply.
- Some Atlanta executives are realistic about their chances of signing Michael Bourn. It doesn’t look like the center fielder will re-sign with the Braves.
- Many executives assume the potential trade that would have sent Dan Haren to the Cubs blew up because of health issues, Olney writes. This means CAA Sports, the agency that represents Haren, will have to convince teams that the free agent right-hander is healthy.
- The Yankees like Russell Martin a lot, but won’t overpay to keep him, Olney writes.
Earlier today, the Red Sox assured that longtime designated hitter David Ortiz would be in Boston through 2014 when they signed him to a two-year deal. Earlier today, general manager Ben Cherington addressed the media regarding the makeup of his team and the upcoming offseason. WEEI.com's Alex Speier has a rundown...
- The team has decisions to make at first base, shortstop, both corner outfield positions and in the fifth spot of the rotation. Speier notes that the team must also look beyond 2013 at the team's long-term plans for center field and catcher.
- Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey should occupy the first four spots in the rotation, but the team will go outside the organization to acquire a fifth starter. That could happen via either free agency or trade.
- Cherington didn't sound overly optimistic when discussing his chances of re-signing Cody Ross: “We’ve had a number of conversations. Obviously we’re into free agency now. We didn’t sign him before that started. The door will remain open, and we’ll continue to talk, but once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that ... We'll keep talking. At the same time, we've got to consider alternatives, too."
- The Red Sox were never particularly close to completing a trade for either Ervin Santana or Dan Haren when the Angels made both right-handers available last week.
- Boston could hire a new pitching coach and hitting coach within a week's time.
- Cherington told Speier that he hopes Ortiz retires as a member of the Red Sox (Twitter link). He added that he hopes that retirement is several years away.
Earlier tonight, the Angels declined Dan Haren's $15.5MM option for 2013, but not before an interesting week of speculation and a near-deal hours before the deadline. Here's a look at what Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto had to say about Haren and other issues concerning the club..
- Dipoto won't rule out talking with Haren or Torii Hunter, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "Anything is possible. I can't say anything is likely," said the GM. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) gets the sense that there's almost no chance of Hunter returning after hearing Dipoto's comments.
- The GM said that the apparent departures of Haren, Hunter, and Santana reflect the club's desire for financial flexibility, not shrinking financial resources, Shaikin tweets.
- That financial flexibility won't necessarily give way to a massive deal for Zack Greinke as Dipoto says that the team is not isolated on him, tweets Shaikin.
- If Hunter is not in the picture in 2013, Peter Bourjos will be slotted as the starter in centerfield with Vernon Wells in reserve, Shaikin tweets.
The Angels have declined their option on Dan Haren's contract for 2013, according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (via Twitter). The hurler will now enter the open market with a $3.5MM buyout rather than a $15.5MM salary with the Angels next season.
Earlier this evening it seemed as though the Angels were on the cusp of trading Haren to the Cubs for reliever Carlos Marmol. Marmol was apparently willing to waive his no trade clause to go to the Halos but the Cubs ultimately pulled the deal off the table. The Red Sox were one club known to be keen on Haren and the Halos worked to strike a different deal for Haren as the deadline neared, but they were unable to find anything to their liking.
Haren, 32, posted a 4.33 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 176 2/3 innings across 30 games for the Angels in 2012. The right-hander emailed reporters on Thursday and said that he had a feeling that he would be traded before the deadline.