On Friday, the news of the trade of Carlos Marmol to the Angels for Dan Haren spread on the Internet and media like wildfire, including the last post on Cubbies Crib yesterday. It reached the point where even Cubs pitcher Matt Garza took to Twitter to wish his teammate good luck and welcomed new starter Haren to the rotation. The radio broadcast team for the Bulls even took a moment to mention the news in the middle of Chicago’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cubs front office had remained silent while word of the trade circulated like a hot high school rumor. Late Friday evening there began to be some doubt as to whether the trade was actually going to happen. Further details have come out this morning and the trade is in fact off. Yesterday I mentioned that one of the details that would need to be hammered out was the difference in salary. As Jordan mentioned on Twitter, it appears the two teams could not agree on how to split that approximate $5.5 million gap.
The Angels had already sent Ervin Santana and money to Kansas City to start off their off season wheeling and dealing. It is becoming very clear that the Halos are looking to make room to pursue top free agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The best case scenario was to deal Haren for some sort of return instead of buying out his option for $3.5 million. That return appeared to be in the form of Marmol, but with the failed deal it figures that paying Haren the $3.5 million and getting nothing was the better option than getting the Cubs closer in exchange. One guess would be that the Cubs were asking the Angels to eat more than $3.5 million in the difference of money, and Los Angeles figured at that point they would rather let Haren become a free agent rather than pay more money to take on Marmol’s remaining paychecks for 2013.
With Haren now a free agent, Cubs fans can now cease thinking of him joining the Cubs, as he immediately jumps into the top tier of available free agent pitchers. In the rumored trade it was disclosed that the Chicago front office was looking to flip Haren in a July deadline trade later this year, and signing Haren to a big multi year contract this off season would conflict with that thought process. Look for the Cubs to seek out the next Paul Maholm, a economic short term signing that could have some trade value this summer.