Tag: Dan Haren

Retired Pitcher Dan Haren Goes on Funny Twitter Tell-All About MLB Career

After spending 13 years pitching in the major leagues, Dan Haren has compiled plenty of thoughts and stories only a big leaguer has experienced.

Now that he’s retired, the 35-year-old is willing to open up a bit about what it’s like to be in the majors.

Haren bounced around the league quite a bit during his career, playing for eight teams in 13 seasons and five in the last four. He may not have had overpowering stuff (hence the Twitter handle “@ithrow88”), but the right-hander made three All-Star teams and received Cy Young award votes a couple of times for knowing how to get hitters out.

After contemplating retirement last offseason when he was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Miami Marlins, Haren decided to hang up his cleats after this past season, finishing with a career record of 153-131 and a 3.75 ERA.

But even though he has walked away from the game, he is still making sure he stays in shape. On Monday, Haren tweeted that he would be dishing out some thoughts on his career while he worked out:

And off he went:

Unfortunately, this Twitter session had to come to an end when his workout was done.

The key is to always leave the audience wanting more—and that’s exactly what Haren did. Now we can’t wait until he hops back on the bike.

[Dan Haren]

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dan Haren Retires: Latest Comments and Reaction

Major League Baseball saw more than just the Chicago Cubs‘ season end on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets. It also signaled the end of pitcher Dan Haren‘s career, who announced his retirement early Thursday morning. 

Here is how he told the baseball world:

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune caught a glimpse of Haren walking out of Wrigley Field for the last time:

The 35-year-old played in 13 professional seasons with eight different teams before he finally called it quits. Fans and peers alike took to Twitter to congratulate Haren on a successful career, including former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Dee Gordon:   

ESPN’s Matthew Berry also took a moment for Haren:

The three-time All-Star contemplated retiring last offseason when the Dodgers traded him to the Miami Marlins. According to Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com, it was because he wanted to be closer to his family who lives on the West Coast. 

Instead, he made 21 starts for the Marlins before being dealt to the contending Cubs and going 4-2 down the stretch. He did not make an appearance in the postseason. 

Haren compiled a 153-131 record during his time in the majors, including six seasons in which he recorded 14 wins or more. His best seasons came in the mid-2000s—he recorded 73 wins in five years—while he was a member of the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Dan Haren, Ben Zobrist Rumblings

The majority of the offseason’s most valuable trade chips have already been dealt, but there are still a few coveted veterans who could be on the move before the start of spring training in February.

Complementary veteran pieces are still available for the right price. Oftentimes, those are the types of acquisitions that set the offseason’s successful teams apart from the pack. While the big prizes of the winter are the ones that lead to the most improvement, the extra pieces take a team over the top.

There are several of these pieces still available on the trade market, and two of them have made headlines in early 2015. Below, you’ll find an analysis of the latest buzz surrounding their current situations.


Dan Haren

Dan Haren wasn’t fond of his trade from Los Angeles to Florida, and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Miami Marlins are working on finding a deal that would move him back to the West Coast. “From what I’ve heard, there is a market for Haren, and the Marlins will do their best to work out a deal that accommodates both parties. Those talks are already underway,” Frisaro writes.

Fox Sports’ Joe Morosi adds to Frisaro‘s report:

There are a few teams who could presumably be in the running for the 34-year-old right-hander. The Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres are certainly in the discussion considering how close they are to contention, and a dark horse could be the Oakland Athletics, the team Haren pitched for from 2005 to 2007.

The Los Angeles Angels general manager, Jerry Dipoto, has said that his team won’t reacquire Haren, who pitched for the team from 2010 to 2012. Los Angeles presumably has a need in the rotation, though, with Garrett Richards a question mark and Tyler Skaggs scheduled to miss all of 2015 after Tommy John surgery.

If the Halos are indeed not interested in a reunion, then it will come down to the other four teams mentioned above.

Check out their full rotation options below:

Haren would be a strong fit on any of these clubs because of the veteran leadership he can provide those young pitchers, but it comes down to which team feels as if it will compete at the highest level next season.

One would assume that the A’s will regress given the roster overhaul they’ve undergone, so it’d be interesting to see them jump into the discussion. Plus, they have injured arms A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker expected to return from Tommy John surgeries at some point in 2015.

San Diego has been the most active team this offseason, though we’ve yet to see GM A.J. Preller address the rotation outside of reclamation project Brandon Morrow.

San Francisco were in the hunt for James Shields in December, so it’s clear that the Giants want arms. Haren represents an affordable option there.

As for Seattle, it’d be odd to see them go after Haren. Promising young arms James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Roenis Elias are vying for rotation spots behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

That would point to the Giants as the favorites if we’re going off need, but any of the teams could make room for a successful veteran who would be happy to pitch near his home.


Ben Zobrist

The Giants should also be considered the favorites for Ben Zobrist at this point given the mammoth hole in left field, though any number of teams have the need for an affordable veteran who can play nearly any position on the field.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported on the size of Zobrist‘s market:

Zobrist, 33, has one of the biggest trade markets out there. The super utilityman is being pursued seriously by the Giants, Nationals, Angels, and Cubs. The Rays recently acquired Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year deal, sparking further speculation that Zobrist might be on the move. The Rays are said to be asking for at least one top prospect and a mid-level one.

Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News echoed that every team in existence could benefit from having him on a roster:

Despite the fact that a high percentage of teams will likely call the Tampa Bay Rays in the coming days, the Giants stand out as the best fit. Coming off the World Series victory, San Francisco must now look to fill the void left by Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Casey McGehee can’t do that by himself, so adding a consistent bat to play left field should help to deepen the lineup. At the very least, the Giants’ motivations for wanting Zobrist should trump the field.

Plus, Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow seems to think he’s exactly the type of player team GM Brian Sabean seeks, saying via CSNBayArea.com, “He’s a good player. He’s a Sabean-type player.”

Besides Zobrist‘s obvious fit in left, he would also act as an insurance policy should Joe Panik regress significantly in 2015.

Each passing day means the chances of a Zobrist trade increase. Asdrubal Cabrera will man second for the Rays next year, and Yunel Escobar will play shortstop. Third base and the outfield are covered. The time is now for the Rays to capitalize on Zobrist‘s value and get back prospects in return before he inevitably leaves in free agency next winter.

Look for him to be in orange and black by the time spring training rolls around.


Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @kennydejohn

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Cole Hamels, Dan Haren and More

Sports fans may have their attention firmly turned toward football and basketball around the holidays, but pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than two months. That means MLB teams are running out of time to make any corresponding roster moves. 

Naturally, there are rumors circulating around the league regarding the futures of some players who could potentially switch teams before late February.

Here is a look at some of those rumors.


Cole Hamels and the San Diego Padres

Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego passed along the latest on any potential interest between the San Diego Padres and Cole Hamels:

The Padres are believed to have at least some interest in Phillies ace Cole Hamels, a left-hander and native San Diegan who could put their rotation over the top. …

According to a Philadelphia Daily News report, the Padres have had discussions about Hamels and could use Myers as trade bait.

Indications from sources within the organization, however, are that the Padres intend on playing all three of their newest outfielders, including Myers.

Wil Myers won the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year award and was a major part of an outfield overhaul for the Padres that also included Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. Considering how much noise came with those three additions, it would be somewhat surprising if San Diego moved one before the season started.

Manager Bud Black discussed his new outfield and where everyone potentially fits, via Lin: “Upton, I think, is maybe best in left (field). We’re going to continue to look at Wil Myers in center field as a possibility. These are things that we’ll talk about as the winter continues and we get into spring.”

Myers is certainly an intriguing piece at 24 years old with plenty of upside, but Hamels is a proven ace. What’s more, Myers regressed during the 2014 season from his impressive 2013 campaign, with his batting average dropping 71 points, his home runs falling from 13 to six, his on-base plus slugging falling from .832 to .614 and his wins above replacement going from two to minus-0.9, per ESPN.com.

Perhaps it was nothing more than a sophomore slump for someone in his second season, but there is at least some reason for concern there.

Still, the Padres would have to give up more than just Myers to land Hamels, so it is understandable that a team that has already lost many of its young pieces (including Joe Ross and Trea Turner in the effort to land Myers) this offseason would be hesitant. 

San Diego certainly hopes Myers reverts back to his 2013 form.


Dan Haren 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports passed along an update on Dan Haren:

Haren has spent the majority of his career out West with the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, so it is no wonder, then, that he would like to head back there, especially when family ties are considered.

For now, though, the 34-year-old righty appears set to start the season with the Miami Marlins, barring that potential trade he hopes unfolds. He turned in his best season since 2011 ERA-wise last year for the Dodgers when he finished with a 4.02 ERA, 13-11 record and 1.18 WHIP, and Miami would be more than pleased with a repeat performance.

Haren’s best days may be behind him, but he is still a valuable innings-eater who has pitched at least 169 innings the past 10 seasons, including seven years of more than 200 innings. 

Whether it is with the Marlins or a team out West, Haren should be a reliable middle-of-the-rotation option this season.


Toronto Blue Jays Looking for Closer 

Heyman noted that the busy Toronto Blue Jays may not be done this offseason:

It is interesting that Toronto will apparently look to trade first considering there are still some options available via free agency. Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford and Brian Wilson are all familiar names who could be available for significantly less money than they would have been in past years.

Sometimes buy-low options are the best bets, especially if they bounce back with something to prove after receiving a contract smaller than in their prime.

However, there are some options on the trade market as well. Perhaps Toronto can pry someone like Jonathan Papelbon or Tyler Clippard away from the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington Nationals before pitchers and catchers report, although anytime there is a trade it means giving something up in return. 

For the win-now Blue Jays that have already acquired Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson and Michael Saunders, that probably won’t be an issue.


Follow me on Twitter:

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Offseason Chatter Rounding out 2014

Not even the holidays can completely halt MLB trade talk.

The offseason doesn’t shut down, but don’t expect another flurry of deals before New Year’s Day. After all, general managers are actual people with families, so landing that left-handed reliever can probably wait a week. 

After all the action that has already went down, the final week of 2014 is a good time to cool down and refresh on the latest buzz permeating the league. Even if none of these deals are imminent, they’re not going anywhere once the calendar turns to 2015.


Troy Tulowitzki to the New York…Yankees?

Last week, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote about the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies resuming trade talks for star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Not one to be outdone by their younger brother in Queens, the New York Yankees have now joined the fray as well, per Heyman‘s latest update:

Tulowitzki, who attended a Yankees game and sat in a box seat to watch his idol Derek Jeter play in his final season last summer, is said to love the idea of going to the Bronx, though the Yankees’ need to replace Jeter was lessened with their trade for defensive whiz Didi Gregorius, who is expected to at least platoon at short for the Yankees. The Yankees re-checked late last week on Tulo’s availability, and while there is significant question whether they could even match up with the Rockies, their trade for the hard-throwing Nate Eovaldi could possibly give them a slightly better chance.

The Yankees replacing Jeter with baseball’s best shortstop standing makes sense on paper, but good luck creating a deserving package. While the Mets can dangle top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, the Yankees don’t possess a blue-chip youngster or deep farm system.

Luis Severino would probably have to move, but the 20-year-old only made six Double-A starts after opening 2014 in Single-A. Syndergaard could pitch for the Rockies in April, but Severino still needs a couple years of seasoning.

This amounts to no more than the Bronx Bombers doing their due diligence. Their chances are even slimmer than the Mets’ shot, which isn’t great either. Heyman‘s new report also mentioned “a major gap to bridge in negotiations” with Colorado asking for Zack Wheeler.

Don’t expect Tulowitzki to play in the Big Apple next year.


Baltimore Eyeing San Diego Outfielders

After losing Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis in free agency, the Baltimore Orioles are searching for outfield reinforcements. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres are swimming in them after acquiring Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers.

Perhaps an introduction is in order. According to The Baltimore Sun‘s Eduardo A. Encina, the two sides noticed the sensible trade scenario.

According to sources, dialogue continues between the Orioles and the San Diego Padres, who have a surplus of outfielders after acquiring Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton this month. 

The Padres need to move some outfielders, and left-handed hitters Seth Smith and Will Venable are drawing the most interest from the Orioles.

On the same day this rumored transaction surfaced, MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko reported the Orioles reaching an agreement with Delmon Young.

Young, however, should not offset Baltimore’s desire to attain Smith or Venable. If anything, it amplifies the need to complete a symbiotic platoon. While the former No. 1 overall pick hit both sides well last season, Young sports a career .302/.338/.467 slash line versus lefties.

Smith and Venable, both lefties, fare much better against right-handed pitching.

He’ll never hit for a high average, but Venable‘s speed and pop makes him a worthwhile get, especially if he maintains his .758 career OPS away from Petco Park. Coming off a career year, Smith proved the Padres’ most prolific batter with an .807 OPS through 521 plate appearances last season.

Neither can combine with Young to replicate Cruz’s 40 home runs, but the platoon would provide serviceable production for the defending American League East champions while giving the Padres added depth elsewhere.


Dan Haren Wants Out of Miami

Certainly no longer a top-level arm, Dan Haren can still fill out a rotation. He’s made 30 starts in each of the past 10 seasons, posting stellar strikeout-to-walk rates despite his fly-ball woes.

The 34-year-old would do well inside Marlins Park, but he has no desire to pitch away from the West Coast. Heyman said the veteran, recently traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers, wants to get dealt back near the area. 

Last month, Haren told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Mark Saxon that he doesn’t want to pitch outside of California: “My signing with the Dodgers last year and my decision to exercise my player option were based on my desire to play in Southern California near my family. I had other opportunities, but at this point in my career, I have no interest in playing in a city away from my family.”

Although hampered by a lack of pitching depth last year, the Los Angeles Angels’ rotation now looks set because of the Marlins. After acquiring Andrew Heaney in the trade that sent Haren to Miami, the Dodgers redirected the top young arm to the Angels for Howie Kendrick.

Now that the Marlins are back in spending mode, the Angels should try to leverage Haren’s desire for an L.A. return by offering them C.J. Wilson. Now that the Marlins care about winning again, they just might be crazy enough to take a 34-year-old with a 4.51 ERA and hefty contract.

The Padres have recently added low-risk, high-reward gambles Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow to compete for a rotation spot. Haren would strive in Petco, and the Marlins could use Venable as a fourth outfielder. They also, however, can let younger, cheaper arms exploit the park’s dimensions. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: Analyzing Chatter Surrounding Troy Tulowitzki, Dan Haren and More

Much of the chatter in the MLB has died down as the winter chill has set in across the nation, with the majority of big-name free agents inked to lucrative contracts and a variety of blockbuster trades—including of course the high-risk, high-reward moves pulled off by the San Diego Padres—already stamped as done deals.

Of course, baseball organizations have a great many moving parts, whether it’s building a contender at the MLB level, bolstering the farm system for (hopefully) a future playoff run or finding the right balance among pitching, hitting, defense and speed. 

The latest rumors floating around the Web involve the futures of high-caliber players capable of turning downtrodden franchises into potential contenders or at the very least shoring up areas of weakness on the roster. 

Let’s break down the buzz surrounding three MLBers who could be looking at new homes in the 2015 season.

Troy Tulowitzki

No matter how well a baseball player plies his trade, there is always a chance that injuries derail their career and make them expendable. Such is the case with Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was well on his way to putting together an MVP-caliber season in 2014 before a hip surgery cut his campaign short in July.

Tulo has missed a grand total of 222 games over the past three seasons, but that reportedly hasn’t stopped the New York Mets from taking an interest in him.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the two teams are still quite far apart in trade talks, and the New York Yankees have now made inquiries regarding Tulo. Heyman broke down where the teams might be coming to an impasse:

The sides have been discussing packages centered around top Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, but some have suggested that at least at some point the Rockies were also requesting Zack Wheeler be included in the package, though talks are fluid, so that may not be the case now. Just about every young Mets pitcher and player has been mentioned at some point, including right-hander Dillon Gee and shortstops Ruben Tejada and presumably Wilmer Flores, though those players are drawing limited interest and would be considered as perhaps third and/or fourth pieces in a potential deal.

With his injury history and age, Tulowitzki carries a significant risk, but it’s one the Mets should be willing to take considering the sorry state of their franchise over the past few seasons—although a second-place NL East finish in 2014 gives them hope going forward.

Should starting pitcher Matt Harvey recover well from his Tommy John surgery, the Mets could have two cornerstone players in the fold, although everyone at Citi Field would have a panic attack anytime one of these two players so much as took a scratch.

The Mets could desperately use help in the middle of the infield and would have made good candidates for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are the ones set to negotiate with the potential star slugger.

The Yankees could easily come to financial terms with Tulowitzki, and if there is any player up to the challenge of replacing Derek Jeter, one of the most beloved players in team history, it’s the Rockies’ four-time All-Star. MLB even sent out this interesting tweet regarding Tulowitzki‘s admiration for the legendary Yankee:

The Rockies would likely have trouble explaining this move to their fanbase and could be in for a long season considering the aggressive moves made by division rivals such as the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, not to mention the dynastic presence of the San Francisco Giants.

If they do trade Tulo, it’s quite possible they go for a full rebuild and ship off star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, as the 29-year-old might not be worth holding onto for what could be a very lean period in the franchise’s history.


Dan Haren

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had an extremely busy offseason, including a frenzied few days that saw the team complete a number of notable trades. Swept up in the whirlwind of roster moves was starting pitcher Dan Haren, who found himself shipped across the country along with shortstop/second baseman Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins in a seven-player deal. 

According to Heyman, this development doesn’t appear to sit well with Haren, who hopes for a return to the West Coast:

Prior to the trade, Haren made it abundantly clear that he wouldn’t be partial to playing away from his family.

“My signing with the Dodgers last year and my decision to exercise my player option were based on my desire to play in Southern California near my family,” he said, via email, per ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Mark Saxon. “I had other opportunities, but at this point in my career, I have no interest in playing in a city away from my family.”

The 34-year-old righty put together a solid season in 2014 for the NL West champion Dodgers, but a strong start and finish to the season disguise Haren’s implosion during the summer stretch.

It’s nice that Haren was able to pull things together after an awful July, but if he’s not happy in Florida, the Marlins might be better off without an aging, handle-with-care starter.

When Haren pitched for the Washington Nationals in 2013, he posted an ERA+ of 81, his worst mark since his rookie year, per Baseball-Reference.com. It’s quite possible scenery means more to Haren’s performance than it does some other players, so the Marlins might not have much to work with even if he does decide to play for them in 2015.

The Los Angeles Angels don’t figure likely to welcome Haren back with open arms considering he went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in his last season (2012) with the team.

The San Diego Padres could use a veteran on their pitching staff, and the Dodgers are paying his $10 million salary for 2015, per Spotrac, but it makes little sense to take on Haren when they have a number of intriguing young options for use the rotation, including Robbie Erlin and Odrisamer Despaigne.

That being said, Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi passed along a salient point from a fan on Twitter regarding a potential Padres ploy:

The Marlins could bolster their team by adding a backup outfielder for Haren—with Carlos Quentin being one possible option, although he is an injury risk—but they won’t be in dire straits if Haren decides to forego another long season and retire.


James Shields

James Shields isn’t the top free-agent pitcher still out on the open market—that title belongs to Max Scherzer—but he appears set to ink quite a lucrative contract, according to The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo

The final Shields numbers are expected to be close to the five years and $110 million remaining (if the option is picked up) on the Cole Hamels deal, according to one major league source who was privy to Shields’s demands. The Giants and Red Sox are in the picture, and the Yankees may be another suitor.

A deal with similar numbers to Cole Hamels would be quite a coup for Shields, as he has put up comparable numbers to the Phillies star but is three years older.

Still, the market forces are at play here, and with Scherzer reportedly looking for a whopping salary, Shields looks like a great value as a starting pitcher in comparison.

ESPN.com Insider Jim Bowden (subscription required) gave the Giants the best odds of signing Shields and noted their tough offseason could motivate them to make a big offer:

The world champions have had a difficult offseason after losing third baseman Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox (for basically the same offer they made) and then falling short on their bids for free agents Jon LesterMelky Cabrera andChase Headley. (They were able to retain reliever Sergio Romo, who signed for less to stay home.) However, they’re still hard at work, and Shields is atop their wish list. They would love to be able to slot him behind Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain and ahead of Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy in their rotation. 

Indeed, Shields would be tough to deal with pitching on the heels of Madison Bumgarner and/or Matt Cain and would provide the Giants with a nice right-lefty balance in the rotation.

However, the Yankees are always a threat to snatch up premier talent, as are the Red Sox, and the New York club could be compelled to make a grand offer considering they aren’t ones to get comfortable with missing out on the postseason more often than once in a blue moon. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Dodgers: Early Winners and Losers from Offseason Shakeups

Early in the offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers have already been involved in several moves. With the departures of Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto and the arrival of Dan Haren, we already know that several members of the 2014 roster will be new faces.

There are still moves to be made as November turns into December, but this is a good time to take stock of where the Dodgers are and how they’ve made out during these first few transactions.

Begin Slideshow

Which of New York Yankees’ Big-Name Pitching Targets Are the Best Values

In New York, the Yankees are preparing to spend money like it’s 2008 all over again. Five years after drowning their third-place finish sorrows away by spending over $400 million combined on CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett, the Yankees are poised to hand out big-money deals. The names have changed, but the objective remains to spend.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees are heading to next week’s general manager meetings armed with cash to spend on free agents.

After watching the steady and reliable Andy Pettitte retire and allowing the unsteady and unreliable Phil Hughes to walk away without a qualifying offer, one of general manager Brian Cashman’s main offseason priorities is to find starting pitching behind Sabathia and Ivan Nova in the five-man rotation. Unless Hiroki Kuroda accepts another one-year deal, three potential spots are open.

Even if Michael Pineda emerges from a two-year shoulder rehab to re-capture his 2011 form, the Yankees will need multiple arms to fill out a good rotation. At least one of them will likely emerge from the free-agent market.

Using Heyman’s projected contracts for each of the six starters on New York’s radar, here’s a ranking of the best values of the group. The rankings are based on a 1-10 scale, with higher numbers signifying a better value for the Yankees organization.

Masahiro Tanaka

The 24-year-old Japanese star is the ideal target for New York’s offseason spending plans. As the franchise attempts to spend big while staying under the $189 million luxury tax in 2014, Tanaka represents the best of both worlds.

As chronicled in a September primer, Tanaka profiles as a top-tier starter in the majors. Even if he’s not a true No. 1 starter, adding him to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter is sufficient for New York’s bottom line. 

According to Heyman, a seven-year, $140 million contract is reasonable for Tanaka, but only half of that will actually go the the player. With $70 million allotted as a posting fee for the rights to speak with Tanaka’s agent, the Yankees would only be spending $10 million per season, against the luxury tax, on a pitcher with the potential to emerge as a valuable contributor.

Value ranking: 8


Matt Garza

Despite including Garza, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, as free-agent targets the Yankees should avoid this winter, he’s the second-best value on this board.

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2008, Garza has amassed a 108 ERA+ over 1,049.1 innings pitched. Although that’s good for third on this list, not including Tanaka’s stats from Japan, behind Jimenez (112) and Haren (111), the former Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers starter has brought something to the table the others have not: consistency.

Despite never accumulating one great season or finishing in the top five of Cy Young voting, Garza has never posted a season with an ERA over 4.00. By maintaining a level performance for six straight seasons, the Yankees will know what they are paying for when offering a contract to the 29-year-old right-handed pitcher.

If Garza’s deal comes in near the five-year, $85 million projection, it will be a decent deal for both player and team.

Value ranking: 6


Dan Haren

When the 2011 season ended, Dan Haren looked like the type of pitcher who was poised to eventually hit the free-agent jackpot. After wrapping up an excellent season for the Los Angeles Angels, Haren was the owner of a career-adjusted ERA of 119, according to Baseball-Reference.com. His ability to pitch in both the NL (Arizona, St. Louis) and the AL (Oakland, Los Angeles) made him one of the surest things in the sport.

Over the last two seasons, however, the wheels have come off for the former right-handed ace. Over 60 starts in 2012 and 2013, Haren pitched to a 84 ERA+ over 346.1 innings, per Baseball-Reference.com. That adjusted ERA was 16 percent below league average. In the span of two years, Haren went from nearly 20 percent better than the average pitcher to nearly 20 percent worse. 

Still, the projection of a one-year deal worth less than $10 million is far from a ridiculous pact. Even though Haren is not the pitcher he was just two seasons ago, he’s still a lock for 30-plus starts every year. If the Yankees truly need two veteran starters, they could do worse than inking Haren to be the second-tier arm. 

Value ranking: 5

Bronson Arroyo

As the offseason unfolds, the Yankees can attempt to fix their rotation issues by acquiring high-end ability (Tanaka, Garza), signing a low-risk, high-reward arm (Haren), or, in a route that won’t be as popular in New York, turning spring training into a competition between young arms like David Phelps and Michael Pineda.

If that’s the route Brian Cashman takes, an ultra-reliable arm will be needed if or when the young arms falter during the rigors of a 162-game season. If innings are needed, Bronson Arroyo fits the bill. Over the last nine years, Arroyo has cleared the 199-inning plateau in every single season. 

Of course, the drawback with Arroyo is a lack of upside. As he gets set to embark on his age-37 season, expecting greatness is foolish. Over 14 seasons, the former Boston Red Sox farmhand has pitched to an adjusted ERA of 104. 

On a one or two-year deal, the fit would be ideal. The projection of a three-year, $35 million pact is too high for a pitcher who has little upside.

Value ranking: 4

Ubaldo Jimenez

Will the real Ubaldo Jimenez please stand up? When baseball executives prepare offer sheets for the free-agent starter, it’s likely the offers will vary based on which version of the pitcher is expected to arrive in 2014.

If the Jimenez of 2010 and 2013 is on the market, he’s worth every dollar of the four-year, $68 million deal that is projected by Jon Heyman. If the Jimenez of 2011 and 2012 is back, anything more than a one-year deal is foolish.

The following chart isolates the contrasting versions of Jimenez. Notice the strikeout and strikeout-to-walk numbers. When the former Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians starter has command, he’s excellent. When that command disappears, he’s very easy to hit.

For the money he’ll likely receive, there’s too much variance in performance to be comfortable in New York.

Value ranking: 3

Scott Feldman

Unlike the other pitchers on this list, Feldman doesn’t provide bang for the buck, upside, variance in performance or long-term durability. After 234 outings, Feldman isn’t a surprise anymore. At age 30, the right-handed pitcher should only be brought aboard to compete for a spot in the back-end of a rotation and given no more than a one-year deal.

According to Heyman’s projections, a two-year, $20 million deal could be in his future. For that cash, New York could sign both Haren and Arroyo. 

If February rolls around and Feldman is still available, any team should explore trying to bring him in as spring-training injury insurance or to compete with a young arm on a one-year deal. Until that scenario presents itself, the Yankees would be wise to allocate their funds on an arm who can give them something concrete for the money spent.

Value ranking: 2

Agree? Disagree?

Comment below, follow me on Twitter or “like” my Facebook page to talk all things baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Report: New York Yankees Discussed Acquiring Dan Haren from Washington Nationals

In their endless search for depth and talent, the New York Yankees were in the mix for Washington Nationals starter Dan Haren as recently as last weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Rosenthal cites that money was the main reason the two teams could not strike a deal. Haren is still due more than $1.5 million this season, and apparently Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman was not comfortable taking on that amount of money for what would be just three or four starts from the soon-to-be 33-year-old.

If the Yankees had been able to acquire Haren, he would not have been eligible for the postseason roster. Players acquired after September 1 are ineligible for the playoffs, so this deal would have been one to increase the team’s chances of getting there.

Haren has been up and down in 2013. He owns a 9-13 record and a 5.02 ERA, but that’s not necessarily indicative of his recent performance. He was 4-3 over July and August with a 3.41 ERA over 59.2 innings. During that span, he was crucial in keeping the Nationals afloat in both the National League East and NL Wild Card standings.

He’s come back down to Earth since, posting a 5.00 ERA in September over nine innings pitched.

The problem with Haren is that he allows entirely too many home runs—26 of them, to be exact. That number is tops in the National League. Haren is no longer able to blow his fastball by hitters, and he’s still having some trouble learning how to rely on his command over his stuff. Leaving fastballs in the middle of the zone has killed him in 2013.

Allowing home runs is the same problem that Phil Hughes has had this season. He’s allowed 23 big flies, and his time in the Yankees rotation has been questioned as a result. He did start the game on Thursday evening against the Baltimore Orioles, but manager Joe Girardi left him in for only three innings before he had a chance to do damage.

Haren would have replaced Hughes in the rotation and would have bumped David Huff to a spot in the bullpen. He had been filling in for Hughes, but a spot in the bullpen makes much more sense given his stuff and Boone Logan’s injury. Girardi will need a lefty out of the pen for the rest of the year.

Acquiring Haren could have gone either way for the Yankees. He may have pitched well in the thick of a playoff hunt in the American League East, but he also may have imploded and continued his less than stellar September performance.

We’ll never know, though, as the money simply was too much for Cashman to take on—especially for a pitcher that would not have helped them beyond September.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Hottest Weekend Waiver Wire Buzz

As of August 30, 16 major league teams either hold a playoff spot or are within 6.5 games of one and could be looking to improve their playoff chances by making a waiver-wire deal by tomorrow’s deadline to add players who will be eligible for a playoff roster.

Eleven August trades have happened thus far:

  • The Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox for prospect Leury Garcia.
  • The Kansas City Royals picked up utility infielder Jamey Carroll from the Minnesota Twins and utility man Emilio Bonifacio from the Toronto Blue Jays, both for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays acquired lefty reliever Wesley Wright from the Houston Astros for cash considerations.
  • The Washington Nationals acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later.
  • The Oakland A’s acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki and cash from the Nationals for minor league pitcher Dakota Bacus.
  • The Rays acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Nationals for a player to be named later or cash considerations. 
  • The Pirates acquired catcher John Buck and outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Mets for minor league second baseman Dilson Herrera and reliever Vic Black.
  • The Indians acquired outfielder Jason Kubel from the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • The Cardinals acquired reliever John Axford from the Brewers for a player to be named later.
  • The Orioles acquired first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse from the Mariners for outfielder Xavier Avery.

With a few trade possibilities still lingering, here’s all of the latest waiver-trade buzz from around the league.


Nationals Resurgence Taking Dan Haren Off the Market?

As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported earlier in the week, there hasn’t been strong interest in Nationals right-hander Dan Haren, who has a 2.53 ERA in his past 53 innings pitched. But could it be that the Nats just aren’t that interested in dealing him now that they’ve closed to within striking distance of a wild-card spot. 

With 14 wins in their past 19 games, the Nats have improved their record to 68-65. While they’ve gained just 2.5 games in the wild-card standings over that span—they’ve moved from nine back to six-and-a-half back—it’s close enough to where it’s a realistic possibility. After failing to live up to very lofty expectations all season long, trading one of their best starting pitchers at a time when things are finally clicking on all cylinders just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.


Red Sox Could Add Bullpen Help

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal notes that the Red Sox could use another right-handed reliever. While manager John Farrell says he’s not too concerned—Ryan Dempster, who was the Cubs‘ closer from 2005-2007, will likely move to the bullpen once Clay Buchholz returns from the disabled list—it sounds like he’s at least open to a deal if one made sense. 

Junichi Tazawa, who is currently the lone right-handed setup man in the Sox’s bullpen—Matt Thornton and Craig Breslow are the primary left-handed options—has had a terrific season (2.75 ERA, 59 IP, 9 BB, 63 K, 20 holds) but has allowed runs in consecutive appearances.

The 27-year-old has bounced back from bad outings before, which is why he’s starting to be considered one of the top setup men in the league, but it would benefit the Sox to have another right-hander late in games to face tough right-handed hitters.

One option could be Matt Lindstrom (pictured), who would be the third White Sox player to be acquired by Boston this season—Thornton and Jake Peavy are the others. The 33-year-old right-hander, who cleared waivers earlier in the month, is holding right-handed batters to a .588 OPS. Overall, he has a 3.04 ERA with 17 holds and only one homer allowed in 53.1 innings.  


The Justin Morneau Watch

It appeared that Justin Morneau (pictured) was giving the Twins a very nice going-away present in the form of an increased trade value after he started the month with 27 hits in 89 at-bats (.303 BA), including seven homers, seven doubles and 19 runs batted in. That value might have deflated some, however, during his current 1-for-23 slump. 

Small samples usually don’t sway a player’s value one way or another during the season, but when a team is making a trade specifically for a small sample of the season—in this case, it would be about 30 games and possibly the playoffs—it would make sense to acquire a player when he’s on a hot streak. 

On the other hand, Morneau’s price tag could’ve dropped just enough for a team like the Pirates to swoop in and pick him up for the stretch run without giving up any prospect of significance or taking on much of his remaining salary. The Bucs have shown interest in the past, and Rosenthal recently tweeted that they may be one team that is currently interested. 

Two teams that may have been interested—Baltimore and Cleveland—can probably be ruled out of the mix after they recently acquired Michael Morse and Jason Kubel, respectively. 


Other Last-Minute Trade Possibilities

A few interesting names that haven’t popped up in the rumor mill, mostly due to these players being on the disabled list until recently, are Angels starter Jason Vargas and Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. 

Vargas, who has made four starts since returning from a disabled list stint due to a blood clot in his armpit, has allowed just one earned run over 13.1 innings over his past two starts. The 30-year-old lefty was placed on waivers on August 19, according to Rosenthal, but there was no word on whether he cleared or not. 

The likelihood is that he did pass through unclaimed, given his salary (still due close to $1.5 million) and the fact that he didn’t pitch well in his first two outings (9.2 IP, 7 ER) after returning. If this is the case, contending teams looking to upgrade their rotation will be interested in striking a deal by tomorrow, especially after what he did versus the Rays on Thursday (7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K).

In the case of Gutierrez, there is no question that he is a huge injury risk, so giving up any prospect or taking on any salary will be viewed as a questionable decision. But in between all the time he’s spent on the disabled list this season, he’s been a very productive hitter and has always been good against left-handed pitching (.833 career OPS vs LHP), in particular. His three-hit performance on Thursday, which included his second homer in two games, could open some eyes. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported in early July that teams were calling about the 30-year-old, although he was out at the time and ended up missing more than two months with a hamstring injury before returning on Monday.

If a contending team is willing to take a chance and the M’s will pick up some of the remaining $1.5 million in salary (approximately $1 million in 2013, $500K buyout in 2014), Gutierrez could be a difference-maker for a contending team down the stretch.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress