Remember the last time the Cubs traded for Dan Haren? That was after the 2012 season, when a deal to ship Carlos Marmol to Anaheim was agreed upon but eventually fell through. Haren was subsequently bought out of his remaining contract and signed with the Washington Nationals for one year and $13 million. He then jumped back to the West Coast, joining the Dodgers for another one-year deal, this one with a player option for a second.
The Dodgers love to spend money, but ponying up $10,154,000 for an aging pitcher with diminishing skills isn’t really on their checklist. Instead, they chose to pay him to not pitch, or, more appropriately, to pitch for someone else. The Dodgers traded Haren to Miami and picked up $10M of what he is owed here in 2015. It remains to be seen how that works out now that Haren’s been traded to the Cubs, but it looks as though Chicago could only be on the hook for about $57,000.
But with the Cubs sending SS Elliott Soto (positional redundancy) and RHP Ivan Pinyero (Rule 5 eligible in offseason) to Miami, it’s entirely possible they won’t even have to pick up the tab at all, which would make sense because Ricketts is cheap. Then again, Jeffrey Loria is cheaper. Even for a couple million, a depleted version of Dan Haren is a better option than the revolving door the Cubs have employed in the #5 spot thus far. He’s got experience, he’s pretty consistent, and he’s not committed beyond this season.
Not only could he bolster the rotation, but Haren does not preclude the Cubs from pursuing a bigger name this offseason. Of course, he doesn’t necessarily preclude them from making a big move right now either. This could be a flip or maybe a way to insure the potential loss of Kyle Hendricks in a trade; who knows? It’ll be a little disappointing if this is the only deal the Cubs make, but it’s far from a bad one.
Stay tuned for more on what the Cubs end up doing as the deadline approaches.