Earlier today, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported that Dan Haren has informed the Miami Marlins that his preference is still to pitch out west, and for a team with Spring Training in Arizona. Haren, of course, was acquired via a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that most notably sent Dee Gordon to Miami and Andrew Heaney to LA—only to be immediately traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Howie Kendrick—along with $10 million cash. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is also reporting the same as Frisaro:
Haren also told #Marlins he’ll consider retiring if not sent back west. Did NOT say he wouldn’t pitch for Marlins under any circumstances.
— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) January 3, 2015
As it is obvious now, the Dodgers sent the $10 million in order to compensate the Marlins in the case that Haren does indeed retire like he is threatening. However, if the Marlins were to trade Haren they could theoretically keep the money, but it’s likely that any team acquiring his services would like the Marlins to pay some—or possibly all—of his 2015 salary.
It would seem impossible for the Marlins to move Haren without eating some of his salary when they are essentially having it paid by the Dodgers.
The Marlins likely trade partners in this case would be the Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres or the Arizona Diamondbacks who are all in the Southern-California area that Haren has said he would like to return. While the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics are not southern California, Haren might also have to settle for them if he wants to avoid retirement, as well.
Out of the teams previously listed, the Angels, Padres, Giants, Diamondbacks and A’s make sense as possible landing spots for the 34 year old. While the Padres will likely be the strongest suitors—as they recently attempted to sign Hiroki Kuroda before he returned to Japan—the Giants make great sense too , as they recently bowed out of the race for James Shields and Max Scherzer and could still use one more solid starting pitcher.
Although it seems that there are teams in this region that could use Haren’s services, the 12 year vet has two things working against him.
The first is that Haren is coming off a down season in which he was worth only 1 win above replacement, posting a 4.02 ERA and an equally poor 4.09 FIP across 186 innings.
The second being that as a result of Haren making it very apparent his desire to return to the West Coast, he has now forced the Marlins into an almost ultra-sell low market on the righty. It’s as if Haren tipped the Marlins hand, making it harder for them to get a desirable return which, therefore, makes it harder to trade the 3-time All-Star to the location he would like to return.