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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dan Haren traded for Carlos Marmol (Update – trade off, Haren a free agent)

UPDATE: The trade is not happening yet. According to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, Marmol was simply asked if he would waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to the Angels. The Angels reportedly were exploring other options after the Cubs pulled the trade.

UPDATE II: The Angels declined their option on Haren, paying him a $3.5 million buyout instead. He is now a free agent.

Dan Haren was traded to the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Carlos Marmol on Friday, ending what was a few days of rumors concerning the future of the former Angels starting pitcher. Reports stated last month that the Angels were unlikely to retain Haren after the season. That turned out to be the case.

Haren spent two and a half seasons with the Angels after being acquired by the team before the trade deadline in 2010. He pitched very well his first year and a half with the club (21-14 with 5 complete games), but the three-time All-Star was only average last season, going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA.

Haren dealt with a back injury that led to a decrease in velocity. Per Fangraphs, Haren’s fastball was down to an average speed of 88.5 mph — the lowest of his career. If his back heals over the offseason and he regains his velocity, he will likely regain his All-Star form. I think it’s a solid gamble by the Cubs that Haren will heal and regain his velocity next season.

The Cubs are not expected to compete, so they could end up trading Haren to a contender looking for a pitcher at the trade deadline. Haren had a team option for next year for $15.5 million that the Angels are likely picking up as part of the trade arrangement.

Marmol is entering the final season of a 3-year deal he signed in March 2011 and set to earn $9.8 million. He was pretty awesome in his first couple of seasons with the Cubs, but he was particularly bad two seasons ago when he blew 10 saves. He was rocked to start last season, but he turned things around in the final couple months of the season.

The Angels’ bullpen was a major weakness last season. Marmol gives them another option along with Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs, and Jordan Walden. Even though Marmol has had his moments of shakiness, he’s better than what I expected the Angels to get back in return for Haren.

The Angels gave up Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, and Joe Saunders to Arizona for two and a half seasons of Haren, whom they’re dealing for Marmol. Haren’s average performance last season made the deal somewhat disappointing after such a promising start.

Word of the trade between the Angels and Cubs emerged after Marmol told a Dominican Republic reporter about it. Several other reporters confirmed the news soon after.

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