The Marlins Need Dan Haren To Retire

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This past week the Marlins traded for both Dee Gordon and Dan Haren from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dee Gordon was the big grab, but Dan Haren is a very serviceable pitcher in his own right. What makes the Dan Haren grab interesting is that Haren is on record saying that he would retire if he was traded outside of Southern California. As a contingency, the Dodgers sent the Marlins $10 million dollars. If ht plays, the money can be used to pay him. If Haren retires, the Marlins can use the money for anything they see fit. The Marlins have said publically that they hope he comes to pitch, but is that what would be best for the team? Let’s investigate.

Like I mentioned, the Marlins have $10 million dollars from the Dodgers to pay Haren’s 2015 salary. Actually, they also received money to pay for Dee Gordon, but that money is already accounted for and is not worth discussing. The Marlins have one of the deepest rotations in baseball after they acquired both Haren and Mat Latos this week. Vying for rotation spots are Haren, Latos, Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi, Brad Hand, and Tom Koehler. That’s seven pitchers and star of the rotation Jose Fernandez will be ready to come back from Tommy John surgery by mid-summer.

If all healthy, the Marlins will have eight pitchers to fill out five spots by the end of the season. Latos was brought in as a one year rental and should be at the top of the rotation. Alvarez will be right behind him and is under team control through the 2017 season. Cosart was acquired last season from Houston when the Marlins traded their 6th overall pick Colin Moran. He looked great when he came over and is under team control until 2020.

Eovaldi took a step back last season when he started 33 games for the Marlins, finishing with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP, but he is still young and is fully capable of having a great season. Hand started 16 games for the Marlins last season having very similar numbers as Eovaldi at 4.38 and 1.36. He is most likely an odd man out looking in, but he has a chance.

Koehler had a 3.81 ERA in 32 starts for the Fish last year. His strikeout ratio was much higher than in 2013 and could be on the rise. Lastly there’s Haren. This is a one year deal and his best days are behind him. He shouldn’t be sold short, as 2014 brought his lowest ERA in three years for the veteran righty. Unfortunately, he still only sported an ERA+ of 87 and at 34, he is not coming to 2015 with better stuff.

The Marlins have a lot of options in the rotation. Other than Latos, they are under team control for years to come and are all investments. Spending $10 million on Haren is pretty much a waste when you see the other options available. Should he decide to pitch again outside of Southern California, he would do well on a team that doesn’t have a full rotation yet. However, the Marlins are set. If Haren pitches, the team may flip a player like Eovaldi or Koehler for a first baseman. If he retires, they can take the $10 million and use it to sign a player like Michael Morse. Especially considering Jose Fernandez will be back soon, Haren just isn’t needed. This $10 million can save a player from being traded  that may mean a lot to the team for years to come.

The Marlins lost a lot of their farm system this week. Losing more of it, or a major league pitcher under team control, is going to start hurting their future. For once, the Marlins have money for a free agent. I just hope Haren follows through on his word and retires in SoCal.

Next: Marlins Sign Scott Sizemore To Minor League Contract

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