It was just a few days ago that we heard that Dan Haren had reiterated his desire to pitch on the West Coast to the Miami Marlins, furthering a stance he’s held since invoking his player option with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November. However, there may be signs that Haren may still suit up in a Marlins uniform.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, Haren has begun his offseason regimen in anticipation of playing the 2015 season. Given his stance of wanting to play on the West Coast near his family or retire, this would be an indication that he would rather accept the $10 million salary than hand it to the Marlins as a consolation prize.
Additionally, Morosi notes that sources have indicated to him that Haren has not informed the Marlins of his intention to retire which could be a softening of his stance a bit. Those same sources tell Morosi that Haren is willing to consider other teams away from the West Coast on a case-by-case basis.
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That’s a bit of a ray of sunshine for the Marlins, who have been handcuffed a bit by the situation. With Haren willing to make some concessions in terms of possible trade partners, he gives the Marlins at least a little bit more flexibility in finding a match, something the Marlins have been unable to do thus far.
That all said, having Dan Haren in the Marlins’ rotation is in the best interest of the team. Miami acquired Haren, along with Dee Gordon, with the intention that he would provide some pivotal innings for the Marlins’ pitching staff, a staff that will be short Jose Fernandez until at least June. Coupled with the acquisition of Mat Latos, the Marlins were counting on the veteran leadership that the pair would provide in a relatively young rotation.
That remains a small possibility, at least on a temporary basis. Morosi indicates that the possibility remains that Haren would be willing to at least head to camp with the Marlins in February, if no trade were completed prior. This would allow Haren to wait out any possible injuries to another starter and possibly increase his demand. Of course, heading to camp with the team and seeing the clubhouse demeanor and possibly the state of the team, may provide Haren enough to say that he’ll pitch through the one year in Miami. However, that remains a long-shot.
Over the course of his career, Haren has been a stalwart in the rotation, taking the ball at least 30 times in each of the last 10 seasons (h/t Morosi). Additionally, he’s been fairly consistent from a statistical standpoint as well, posting a career line of 3.77 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.61 xFIP, and a 3.62 SIERA. That’s lead to a 142-122 career record, 7.58 K/9 ratio, a 72.3% LOB mark, and a solid 42.5% career ground-ball rate.
That’s likely to appeal to someone, especially given the fragile state of pitching on the market. The chances remain that Haren will never suit up for the Marlins. However, there may be a bit more of a silver lining.