Dan Haren Market Heating Up
Dan Haren went from practically untouchable, to likely to be traded in about a week. Now, I think a deal will get done by the time Monday rolls around. While initial reports had the Yankees as the front runners, those have since turned out to be a bit premature. The Twins, Tigers, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Phillies are all highly interested in the right-hander, despite the fact that he has been struggling of late. The Yankees will probably remain front runners though since they have the easiest path to trade for Haren.
The Twins and Tigers are both on his no-trade list (as are the Rays if they get interested). Now that is not to say Haren won’t be dealt to those teams, just that the D-Backs will need to get his approval to complete a deal. Which is unfortunate for Arizona, since both teams can probably put together better deals than the Yankees. The Dodgers are problematic since they are in the division and would want the Diamondbacks to eat a chunk of change. While that would increase Arizona’s prospect package, it would be hard to swallow to face the Dodgers and you are paying the salary of the pitcher that is beating you. The Cardinals also would have a hard time fitting Haren in their budget, and they lack the farm system to deal for a pitcher like Haren. That leaves the Yankees as the team without any strings attached as they try to acquire Haren.
Haren won’t come cheap, as initial reports had the D-backs asking the Yankees for Joba Chamberlain, pitching prospect Ivan Nova and two other prospects. While the other two players were unknown, my guess is the Diamondbacks asked for two good prospects (possibly Zach McAllister and David Adams, the players rumored in the Cliff Lee deal). While the Yankees turned it down and in turn asked for a deal involving all prospects, my guess is Joba will need to be involved for a deal to take place. Chamberlain’s value has fallen well below the untouchable range, and New York should consider any deal that doesn’t include them giving up Jesus Montero. While I understand the Yankees are hesitant to give up on Chamberlain when is value is at it’s lowest, he is also no longer a rookie. His free agency clock is ticking and if you can get a player like Haren for him, who is signed for multiple years it isn’t a bad deal. Haren would also mean the Yankees would be out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes this offseason (one would think), which would save the Yankees quite a bit of money over the next couple of years.
I still wouldn’t be shocked to see the Tigers or even the Twins get heavily involved even if Haren would have to approve the deal. Given the state of both franchise’s as team’s built to contend over the next few years, I don’t see why Haren wouldn’t agree to a deal to those cities. Another dark horse team that could get involved is the Rangers, they already traded for Cliff Lee, but he is an impending free agent, and the Rangers could use an ace going forward. While their farm system is a little weaker they have the young frontline pitching the Diamondbacks desire. It might not be as much major league ready pitching, but they have the most high upside arms in the minors. Fitting his contract in their budget might be an issue, but he makes a ton of sense from a talent standpoint (as well as selling tickets). A Lee-Haren front of the rotation could carry Texas deep into the postseason, and deliver the Rangers their first World Series title.