On Friday morning Jordan provided the update that the Cubs were interested in Angels starter Dan Haren. The Chicago Tribune is reporting this evening that Carlos Marmol had informed a reporter in the Dominican that he had in fact been dealt for Haren. There have been multiple reports that the deal is done, but the Cubs front office, in their typical tight lipped fashion, have yet to officialy confirm the move.
The club option the Angels have on Haren is what has really got the wheels moving on a trade for the pitcher. The formerly known as Anaheim Angels need to make a decision on that option by a deadline later tonight, and one of the avenues the Angels were considering was to deal the starting pitcher. If under contract for 2013, Haren would be due $15.5 million.
On the flip side, Marmol is guaranteed to earn $9.8 million this coming season, regardless of whether he is in Cubbie blue or Angels red. The 2013 season would represent the final year of the contract he signed three years ago.
The struggles for consistency that Marmol endured over the last couple of seasons is well known by Cubs fans and the team. There is no question or doubt as to the nasty slider that the closer keeps in his gun holster. But his inability to harness his weapon within the strike zone has hurt his potential to be one of the most dominant closers in the game.
Haren featured a 12-13 record with a 4.33 ERA last season in Los Angeles. However he is just a season removed from a 16-10 record and has proven at each of his Major League team stops the ability to be a solid middle to top of the rotation starter. Haren has made 30 plus starts each seasons going all the way back to 2005, showing durability that at times has seemed to be lacking at Wrigley Field over the last decade when it comes to top of the rotation starters.
On the field, the Angels are apparently subtracting from a position of strength (the pitching rotation) to help shore up their bullpen with the addition of Marmol. It appears the Cubs front office views Haren has a future trading chip come July for prospects to further stock the farm system. For you math major Cub fans out there, by the transitive property, it appears that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer view Haren as a more attractive trading piece than Marmol. For the Cubs, Haren would help address to the rotation void that could be seen from outer space. However, it would create a question mark as to who the new closer would be. With 2013 already assumed to be another rebuilding year, this question is not that big of a concern, but it is the creation of another void none the less.
Without further details from the Chicago’s end, the remaining information regarding this potential trade would revolve on the gap between salaries and whether or not other players are involved in the deal. The difference in money comes out to a little over $5.5 million. The Cubs do have room in their budget to take on the extra money coming onto their accounting books, but the answer to the question of whether or not prospects are involved would determine which team would be eating into the difference in salary.
With the Haren club option deadline looming in just a couple of hours, keep one eye on Cubbies Crib for the latest information that figures to break tonight if the deal goes through.