Padres Potential Free Agent Target Dan Haren

What's that on the horizon? It's a bird, it's a plane, no... it's a Haren. Oh, I guess that is a bird. - Brad White

The Padres have made starting pitching their off-season priority and the Angels might well be cutting ties with two starters. Could Dan Haren be a fit for San Diego? Is there money in the coffers to lure him?

Over at Royals Review they pondered this very topic for their own club. Clark Fosler looked at what Dan Haren did in 2012, his status with the Angels and what Kansas City could offer.

Haren turned 32 last month and battled back problems most of last season. You can look at that two ways. One could say 'hey, at least it was not his arm' or one could say 'yeah, but it is his back and sometimes those things don't go away'. Especially if you are thirty-two and have thrown 1,700 innings in the past eight years.

After a pretty miserable first half that culminated in Haren giving up 20 runs over 23 innings, the right-hander spent some time on the disabled list in July. When he came back on July 23rd, Haren would go on to pitch 73 innings and allow 68 hits, 29 runs, 14 walks and 14 home runs. He struck out 56 over that stretch and posted a 3.57 earned run average.

Haren's 2012 overall numbers frankly look like a pitcher who was throwing with a sore back. His velocity was down, his walk rate was up and, perhaps more telling about a slight loss of control, his home run rate was extremely elevated. Batters were swinging less and making contact more. Haren simply was not throwing the type of stuff that made him one of the league's best pitchers for an extended period of years.

The Angels have already stated that they would like to go another direction and will likely pay the $3.5 million buyout in Haren's contract to avoid owing him $15.5 million in 2013. That makes him a free agent and potential target for any team, like the Padres, looking to bolster their starting staff.

Fosler ends up asking "Could the Royals get Haren on a one year/$10 million deal?" and tries to justify that spending. For me, I look at Haren as a player that has been good for long enough that he's going to want a multiyear deal and someone will give it to him. The Padres may have some additional cash to spend. I could see it being viable to offer 3-4 years with an annual value of either slightly below or slightly above $10 million per season.

It's certainly a risk given that Haren's 2012 season wasn't so great and a team like the Angels, who have money to burn, are giving up on him. But, it might be worth the gamble. Even if Haren can't become a Cy Young candidate again, he still seems likely to log innings and not too terrible ones. So your downside is minimized. It's a lot of money, but if the Padres have money and are serious about contending then maybe this is the bold move that could give them a much better shot.

You also have to figure in the Trader Josh connection. Josh Byrnes already acquired Dan Haren once to help a team he saw as a contender (and gave up future major leaguers Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, Dana Eveland and Carlos Gonzalez in the process). Maybe he'd want to do it again.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Gaslamp Ball

You must be a member of Gaslamp Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gaslamp Ball. You should read them.

Join Gaslamp Ball

You must be a member of Gaslamp Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gaslamp Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker