Jon Heyman is reporting that Dan Haren is still holding out for a trade to the Angels or Padres.
This comes as no surprise as Haren previously went on the record saying that he’d only pitch in Los Angeles – be it for the Dodgers or Angels – or he’d retire. It seems he’s softened his stance a bit and would continue pitching if he could simply return to southern California.
The Marlins traded for Haren as part of the Dee Gordon/Andrew Heaney deal and were fully aware of his stance at the time. It’s uncertain if the club was hoping to change his mind or if they were simply willing to deal with the headache to acquire Gordon.
Since the trade went down, Haren has reportedly been “evaluating his options” and has yet to make a decision. Heyman’s report would indicate that Haren’s preference is to pitch in 2015, if he can do so on the west coast.
A move back west makes sense if the Marlins weren’t legitimately counting on Haren as part of the rotation. The trades of Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi, however, would seem to indicate that the club is expecting Haren to fill a rotation spot.
If he stays in Miami, he’d slot in alongside recently acquired Mat Latos, recovering Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, and Jarred Cosart. Should the Marlins decide to move on from Haren, they have newcomers David Phelps and Aaron Crow as potential rotation options along with incumbent starter Tom Koehler.
If Miami feels comfortable moving on from Haren, both the Angels and Padres could make some sense as trade partners.
A return to the Angels could be feasible if the club has any uncertainty about Garrett Richards projected time table to return in May and if Haren is willing to be flexible with his role in Los Angeles.
If Haren were to rejoin the Angels, he’d likely find himself relegated to the bullpen when Richards is healthy as the rotation currently features better options in Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, Matt Shoemaker, and Hector Santiago; with both Heaney and Richards expected to contribute in 2015.
The club was rumored to be interested in moving Wilson earlier this offseason, but that talk seems to have died down since the Winter Meetings and it’s hard to imagine Haren cracking the club’s top five (or six) if/when everyone is healthy.
The wheeling-dealing Padres are another interesting alternative that may be a better fit, both for the club and for Haren to stay in the rotation. Despite a flurry of moves in recent weeks, the Padres kept their rotation largely intact, but could use an extra arm at the backend to make up for the loss of Jess Hahn.
As currently comprised, the Padres have Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy making up the front three with some combination of Odrisamer Despaigne, Robbie Erlin, and recent signee Brandon Morrow expected to fill out the rest of the rotation.
Haren could be an upgrade over Erlin and potentially Morrow if he can’t regain his once dominant, if not erratic, stuff from his early days in Toronto. It also stands to reason that Haren would benefit greatly from plying his trade in Petco Park for a full season.
It’s hard to gauge what the Marlins would want back in the deal, but on the surface it seems that, if there’s a match to be made, San Diego is the most logical destination.