Dan Haren didn't have a bad year necessarily. He did have a year in which he hit the disabled list for the first time in his career and saw his ERA balloon. The Los Angeles Angels now have to make a decision about Haren, his durability, and his future. Does one injury in a decade-long career mean there will be more to come? Does the anomaly of the 2012 season mean Haren is not worth the $15.5 million team option due to him if the team wants to bring him back?
If the Angels are not interested in bringing Haren back, they will likely trade him rather than pay the $3.5 million buyout he will be due to make him a free agent. One of the teams interested in a trade if that's the route the Angels take are the Cubs.
According to numerous sources including Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Chicago Cubs are among a handful of team who may be interested in the 32-year old righty. Also reporting interest was Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sullivan quoted the Cubs' GM Jed Hoyer as being interested in a team that would pick up an option than trade the pitcher to them.
The Angels' Dan Haren, who is on the trade block and has a $15.5 million option, fits that category.Haren has a career ERA of 3.66 and has been one of the better pitchers in the league for most of his career. He had a 2.87 ERA in 2010 with the Angels, a 3.17 ERA in 2011, then has his rough year this past season. Haren has eight seasons in which he has started more than 30 games. In only two of those seasons, including this past season, has Haren had an ERA over 4.00.
His injury in 2012 was due to lower back stiffness. He was placed on the DL in early July and made his return that same month. He had been experiencing inflammation and just needed some rest. This does not seem to be the type of injury that will be long-term or nagging. However, it has to be taken into consideration by both the Angels and any team working out a trade for him.