The Dan Haren saga has taken another turn.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Haren is now planning on reporting to spring training with the Marlins, and does not plan on retiring.
Originally acquired in the Dee Gordon trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Haren seemed intent on retiring if he was not on a west coast team. He even stated to the Marlins near the New Year that his preference would still be to pitch on the west coast. The Marlins started looking for trade partners out west, accordingly, without finding any takers.
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Yesterday author Travis Honeycutt posted an article stating that the Marlins still had “hope” that Haren would change his mind and show up to camp. To me, it never seemed likely that Haren would walk away from his $10 million contract for the 2015 season.
While Haren is now open to joining the Marlins, he’d still like the Marlins to explore a trade to get him back to the west coast, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
"But that doesn’t mean that Haren necessarily will pitch for the Marlins.Haren, 34, has again asked the Marlins to trade him to a West Coast team so that he can be closer to his family in Southern California.The Marlins have found no takers to this point, but they have renewed attempts to trade him and there’s still a possibility a deal could be worked out."
In 2014, Haren posted a 4.02 ERA, a 4.09 FIP, 7.02 K/9, and a 1.74 BB/9 in 186 innings for the Dodgers. His average fastball clocked in at just 87.7 miles per hour last year. He would slot into the 5th spot in the Marlins rotation at this point.
Steamers projects Dan Haren to post a 3.93 ERA and a 3.91 FIP in 163 innings next season. In my opinion, he’d be a better fifth option than either Brad Hand or David Phelps. He also has the veteran experience that the Marlins so desire on all their teams.
If the projected rotation sticks to how it is now, it would be Mat Latos, Henderson Alvarez, Jared Cosart, Tom Koehler, and Dan Haren slotting 1-5 to begin the season. Jose Fernandez is expected back around the All-Star break and the Marlins could still make a run at starter James Shields if his market and price shrink a bit.
In that scenario that the Marlins did sign Shields (very unlikely), Koehler would likely be the odd man out, with the Marlins possibly shopping him for a fourth outfielder, such as Will Venable. The Marlins would have a much stronger team in this scenario, but with Shields likely to command north of $100 million over 5 seasons, well out of the Marlins budget, a signing is highly unlikely.
Dan Haren agreeing to report to the Marlins is actually great news for a team that has dealt 4 starters that made at least one start for the team last season. Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Brian Flynn, and Anthony DeSclafani were all dealt to “help” improve the club this off-season. It will also save the Marlins from over exposing Hand or Phelps.