The offseason just started, but it won’t be a slow start if the Angels have anything to do with it. That’s because they are rumored to be aggressively shopping both Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The issue is that the Angels have 2013 options for each pitcher, Haren has a $15.5 million option and Santana has a $13 million option, and they don’t want to pay the options or lose the players for nothing. So they are shopping them in an attempt to get something back for each of them.
The reason I bring this up is that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Yankees get involved. If Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda return next year they will have a formidable rotation again, but that is no guarantee. Pettitte could retire and there is also temptation for Kuroda to head back to Los Angeles or Japan. Even if both returned, acquiring another pitcher would give them flexibility to trade Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, or David Phelps this offseason.
Whether either pitcher would be worth it is the question. The price is probably the ultimate determining point, but Santana makes me hesitant from start. Haren is a little more intriguing though.
The problem with Haren is that at 32 he’s not the same pitcher he used to be. Yes, he did deal with back problems that hurt his numbers last year so if the Yankees were confident that wouldn’t be an issue, and I’m not sure they can make that guarantee due to the nature of back injuries, then a deal that includes only B or C level prospects would certainly be worth it.
Still, Haren scares me. $15 million is definitely a lot of money to spend on a pitcher who is such a big question mark. Then consider that his velocity, which used to sit at 96-97 mph, has dropped every year from 2007. In fact, he sat in the 88-90 mph range for most of this season. Then again, his velocity was in the 89-91 mph range in 2011 and he was able to post a 119 ERA+ with a crazy 7.3 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9. So he has been successful with limited velocity.
Like I said earlier, the cost of a trade will be the ultimate determining factor. $15 million is a lot of money. There is a reason the Angels don’t want to pay it. In order to get the Angels to take on a chunk of it, the Yankees would certainly need to include some good prospects. My feeling is that if they get a chance to look at his medicals and everything looks solid, a one-year deal won’t kill their 2014 budget plans. Perhaps they should check in on this.