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Dan Haren compares Mike Trout and Bryce Harper

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Washington Nations center fielder Bryce Harper and Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout are the future of Major League Baseball. Harper is only 20 years old and Trout is just 21, but they are already two of the game’s biggest superstars after their breakout seasons in 2012.

Dan Haren, who pitched for the Angels last season and is now with the Nats, has had an opportunity to spend time with both young phenoms.

“They’re different players, definitely,” Haren told the Washington Post earlier this week. “I really enjoyed my time with Mike. We got along really well. They’re very different, and they’re very similar. They’re both – sometimes, if you look from an opposing team’s standpoint, you don’t like Bryce or you don’t like Trout. And then you get on their team and it’s the opposite. You kind of see how they are and you like them.

“They both are on the borderline of confident and arrogant, you know? But I think that’s what takes them to the next level. They think that they’re better than everybody else. That’s probably a good way to think. Skills-wise, they have different skill sets. Bryce might have more power. Trout has more speed. I don’t think they’ve even reached their potentials.”

Conveniently enough, both players appeared in 139 games last season. Trout certainly has more speed, as evidenced by his 49 stolen bases compared to Harper’s 18. It would also stand to reason that Trout has more power and is a better overall hitter. Trout hit 30 homers and drove in 83 runs to go along with a .326 batting average. He nearly won the AL MVP. Harper belted 22 homers and drove 59 runs with an average of only .270.

Based on last season alone, it’s easier to make the case that Trout is a better player. Let us also not forget the insane plays like this and this that he made in the field. However, it would be ridiculous to jump to conclusions like that after one season in the majors when neither player has even hit age 22. Harper may have the hotter girlfriend, but Trout put up better numbers in 2012. Are they similar? Yes. But at the moment Trout gets the nod. Something tells me they’ll be neck and neck for a long, long time.

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.

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2011 MLB All-Star Game Snubs: American League

Compared to the National League All-Star team, the fans did a poor job voting on the American League team. Most of the reasonable complaints regarding snubs are from the AL team. We already gave you the All-Star Game snubs from the National League.

Here are the American League All-Star team snubs:

Jhonny Peralta over Derek Jeter at SS

This is a no-brainer. The fans vomited on themselves with this one, probably because a) Jeter is so popular and b) most of them don’t know who Peralta is. Asdrubal Cabrera made the team as the backup shortstop and he should be starting. Peralta should be the backup.

Paul Konerko over Michael Young as 1B/INF

Paul Konerko being left off the team is the biggest snub of MLB. He has a .954 OPS which is fourth-best in the entire AL. It’s a joke that he’s not on the team and it’s criminal that Ron Washington stuck him in the fan vote. Instead of carrying three catchers, Washington should have put Konerko on the team over either Martin or Wieters. At the least, he should be there over Young who is good but can’t mash the way Konerko can.

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