Dan Haren Rumors
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
In case there are still any questions whether the Nationals' Bryce Harper can continue to adjust to big league pitching as it attempts to adjust to him, this story from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post may put them to rest. Harper recalls that he began developing a flexible approach at the plate when, as a seven year-old playing in an under-10 tournament, the opposition decided it was too dangerous to give him an inside fastball. Kilgore goes on to explain in detail the development of Harper's swing, and why it is so effective at such a young age. Here are some notes from the Nats and a few of their National League competitors:
- While Nationals starter Dan Haren seems to be turning his season around, Carlos Marmol of the Cubs continues to struggle. As Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes, the Cubs not only missed out on adding a starter to bolster their rotation, but could have flipped Haren for a nice haul at the trade deadline. Of course, the Cubs were apparently close to acquiring Haren before the Angels declined his option and made him a free agent.
- The Phillies should try to trade first baseman Ryan Howard, says David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Looking at the team's free agent options next year, Murphy says there is not much promise for the Phils to improve unless it sheds one of its nine players that stand to make a combined $115MM next season. While acknowledging the limits of Howard's trade value, Murphy posits that the club should agree to eat much of his salary and attempt to obtain a young infielder.This may not be the most promising proposal, however, as Howard's injury history and mediocre start to 2013 (.262/.299/.476 over 137 plate appearances) keep his value down even before looking at his contract.
- Meanwhile, Murphy's Inquirer colleague Bob Vetrone laments that two former Phillies are having an impact elsewhere. Both Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence were traded mid-season last year after the Phillies fell out of contention, and both are off to productive starts this season. Meanwhile, the Phils' outfielders have been among the worst in baseball. On the other hand, those deals brought much needed youth into the Phillies' organization, including two prospects (Tommy Joseph and Ethan Martin) ranked by some in the club's top 15.
- The Mets could make sense as a destination for Shin-Soo Choo when the outfielder reaches free agency this offseason, explains John Harper of the New York Daily News. Choo is currently sitting at third on MLBTR's Tim Dierkes's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings after his hot start for the Reds. According to one big league executive, Choo fits the profile that Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be looking for as a high on-base outfielder with some pop. Certainly, an outfield upgrade is in order for the Mets, as the combined production from Mets outfielders currently rates right alongside that of the Phillies.
For those of you still up watching the epic Giants-Dodgers game unfold tonight, here are a few final notes from today:
- Assessing the Phillies' front office performance this past offseason, Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer leaves litle doubt as to his stance. He writes (via the Miami Herald) that the Phillies built their 2013 team "on the precarious hope that their aging veteran starters would pitch well and that their aging everyday players would regain their productivity. Around that central theme, the front office sprinkled journeymen and prospects who might be good enough if everything else went right." While the Philadelphia sits only three games under .500, that record has been built on a 9-3 mark against the Mets and Marlins. Unfortunately, opines Ford, there is little that the team can do at this point, especially as the team lacks impact minor league talent ready to help the big league club. With a turnaround always at least possible given the team's starting pitching corps, and with trade value difficult to maximize at this point in the year, Ford says that all the Phillies can do is continue down the path they have chosen and continue to hope for the best.
- In yesterday's matchup between likely first-round pitchers Mark Appel of Stanford and Trevor Williams of Arizona State, it was Appel that came up out on top, writes Keith Law of ESPN (on Insider). Law came away impressed with all of Appel's three primary pitches, along with his athleticism and mechanics. He noted that the Astros and Cubs scouts in attendance likely felt the same. Those two clubs, of course, possess the first two picks in the upcoming amateur draft.
- The prospective class of 2014 free agent starters is beginning to look deeper, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman points to recent solid starts from Dan Haren, Jason Vargas, and Phil Hughes. While Heyman also notes that Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have settled down since their less-than-promising beginnings to the season, both were roughed up again in their latest outings. With more question marks than sure things among the best rotation options in the 2014 market, pitchers like Haren, Vargas, and Hughes have a lot of room to improve their market positioning over the course of this season. Haren, a 32-year-old one-time ace, has battled through an abysmal early-going to register two consecutive starts that were more reminiscent of his former dominance. The 30-year-old Vargas has buttressed his case as a solid innings-eater, going deep into his last three games and maintaining a 3.72 ERA over 38 2/3 innings. And Hughes, still just 26, has steadily improved all year since returning from injury, most recently tossing an eight-inning, four-hit, nine-strikeout, no-run gem against the Athletics.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this for Dan Haren.
A three-time All-Star with impressive career credentials, Haren figured he would someday hit free agency and cash in with a long-term and lucrative deal.
But Haren, a ten-year big league veteran who has been traded three times, became a free agent for the first time in his career this past offseason coming off a down year and injury concerns to his hip and back.
“I didn’t necessarily hit free agency at the high point of my career,” Haren admits. “I had a lot of good years that if I would have hit the free agency at any of those times I would have been paid extremely well, not that I’m not paid well, but it just so happened that I got a little banged up last year. I’ll just have to prove myself again this year.”
Haren, 32, posted a 4.33 ERA in 176 2/3 innings with the Angels last season, the highest ERA he’s had in any of his eight full seasons. But must of his struggles were due to lower back tightness that he pitched through before eventually landing on the disabled list for the first time in his career in July.
With teams scared due to the back injury and a hip issue that hasn’t bothered him but always shows up during physicals, Haren was forced to take a short-term deal and try his luck again in free agency next year.
The right-hander signed a one-year, $13MM deal with the Nationals in early December, choosing a chance to compete for a World Series over more lucrative offers from other teams.
“I understood,” Haren said of the medical concerns. “I think baseball, their physicals are a lot more thorough these days. I think there were some red flags about my hip issues that I’ve had since my days in Oakland but I’ve never missed a day because of it. I had some back problems, which a lot of people obviously have back problems but structurally everything is fine in my back. Really it was my hip which was a little bit frustrating just being that I had never missed any time because of it.
“I was on the disabled list for a little less than three weeks for my back but I came back and I finished off the season pretty well. I saw the way the market was going and I just wanted to come to a team that was going to give me the best chance to win.”
Haren has proven to be one of the most durable pitchers in recent years, ending a streak of seven straight seasons of at least 200 innings pitched when the short stint on the DL left him at 176 2/3 innings last year. He’s also proven to be one of the best pitchers in recent years, posting a career 3.66 ERA in nearly 1,900 innings since breaking into the big leagues with the Cardinals in 2003.
But it’s been an interesting career path for a pitcher of his caliber. The former second round draft pick of the Cardinals was traded to the Oakland Athletics in a deal for Mark Mulder after making 28 appearances for the Cardinals in 2003 and 2004.
Haren pitched three seasons in Oakland before he was traded again, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 2008 season. He signed a four-year, $44.75MM extension midway through his first season with Arizona but was traded to the Angels at the 2010 trade deadline.
With an option remaining on his contract with the Angels for 2013, Haren wasn’t sure what would happen this offseason. The Angels could have picked up the option to bring him back or released him and allowed him to become a free agent.
Then came news that he had been traded a fourth time, this time to the Chicago Cubs for reliever Carlos Marmol. Or so he thought. The trade appeared to be all-but-done but fell through at the last minute.
“I thought it was happening,” said Haren, who was in communication throughout the day with Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. “We had been texting back and forth all day that day and he told me the deal is pretty much done but it’s not completed so you’re not traded yet, even though everyone was calling me and saying I had been traded and it was on the internet that I was traded.
“I was assuming that I was traded. My family was there and we were all prepared to be with Chicago. It kind of prepared me for free agency, the chance of being on the east coast or the Midwest.”
The Angels declined the $15.5MM option on Haren’s contract by the deadline after being unable to complete the deal or find another willing trade partner. Haren received a $3.5MM buyout and became a free agent.
He went nearly a month before signing, eventually deciding to join an already stacked Washington rotation for a one-year deal shortly before the Winter Meetings.
“Part of it is me proving myself and part of it is coming to a team with one of the best chances to win a World Series,” Haren said. “Obviously their offer financially was competitive with other offers I was getting. That’s always a factor. If anyone tells you that money isn’t a factor, that’s a lie, but their offer was competitive with other teams and then it just gave me the best chance to succeed both personally and team wise.
“As the offseason went along and I was a free agent and taking a short term deal was going to happen, when taking a short term deal, you want to come to a team that is set to win that year and I think the Nationals give me the best chance. To be surrounded by a good rotation, a great bullpen, this lineup and what they did last year, it was kind of a no brainer. It just made sense for me to come here.
“Probably if I waited a little while longer I probably could have gotten another year or two (from another team) but when the Nationals showed interest I was just kind of content coming here for a year and seeing what I could do and seeing how far this team can go.”
And if he proves to be healthy, Haren just might finally get the chance he's waited for next winter.
On this date in 2007 the Red Sox signed free agent outfielder J.D. Drew to a five-year, $70MM contract. Though Drew hit .264/.370/.455 in Boston, he had trouble staying on the field and faced his share of scrutiny over the years. Here are today's AL East links, as Drew's younger brother Stephen prepares for his first season with the Red Sox...
- Dan Haren told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that his agent had a lot of conversations with the Red Sox this past winter (Twitter link). The Nationals ultimately signed Haren to a one-year, $13MM deal.
- Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson took note of Felix Hernandez's seven-year, $175MM extension, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. "It’s kind of hard not to see that. It’s incredible, he deserves it," Johnson said. He'll earn $13.75MM in 2013 before hitting free agency next offseason. The 29-year-old ranked third on MLBTR's initial Free Agent Power Rankings.
- The Blue Jays’ roster includes many players from the 2012 Marlins, but Toronto’s club won’t be so disappointing, Morosi writes at FOX Sports.com.
- Infielder Omar Quintanilla seriously considered the Mets and Orioles this offseason before deciding to sign in New York, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The Mets traded Quintanilla to Baltimore for future considerations last July then re-signed him in January after the Orioles non-tendered him.