Is Dan Haren Right for the O’s?
Dan Haren has been a hot topic among O’s fans ever since it was reported that the Angels were aggressively shopping him. We’ve seen that the Angels new GM Jerry DiPoto is no stranger to big moves when he signed Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson last offseason in what many considered to be a serious coup. DiPoto moved Ervin Santana today completing a deal with the Royals that brought left-hander Brandon Sisk back to LA.
We know that DiPoto wants to make a move, but is Dan Haren someone the O’s should pursue? Michael Barr wrote up an excellent piece for FanGraphs that details basically everything O’s fans should know when considering adding Dan Haren to the team.
The biggest concern with Haren has to be the back issues he’s had, and the subsequent drop in velocity. It’s possible to view 2012 as an aberration, the only year since 2006 that Haren posted an ERA over 4. However, Michael Barr’s analysis points to a few things that might lead you to believe that Haren has been trending towards a mediocre ERA. It’s obvious he isn’t as un-hittable as he once was, but can still provide servicable innings for any team. Do you expect Haren to put up a 3.5 ERA next season? I’m not sure about that… but he’s certainly capable of it. Does he have the upside of an elite #1 starter? In my mind, not anymore. That doesn’t mean he can’t add a lot of value at the top of a competitive team’s rotation, it just means that gambling $15.5 million on Haren isn’t the slam dunk it once seemed.
Bottom line is that Haren is someone who should interest the Orioles. He’s a quality starter that can still get the job done despite a possibly declining skill set. That said, he has an injury history and would cost a boat-load of money so he’s not someone I would ship a good prospect for necessarily. Remember if Haren pitches well a qualifying offer could bring back a draft pick next season. If the price is right, the O’s should obviously jump at the chance to add an experienced and talented arm to the rotation. If it costs what you would expect a #2 starter to cost, then maybe you back away and consider some other options.
Either way I think Haren moves before Friday, and I for one will be very interested to see what the ultimate price tag is.