Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Lingering concerns about Haren's back were the deal-breaker, according to sources.
Last week's near-trade that would have sent Los Angeles Angels right-hander Dan Haren to the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol fell through at the last minute because of concerns about Haren's back, reports David Kaplan of CSN Chicago:
When reports started to surface last Friday that the Cubs and Angels were involved in serious discussions about a Carlos Marmol for Dan Haren trade, several reports considered the deal a foregone conclusion.
However, a long-time AL source who has watched Haren over the past several seasons confirmed to me that medical questions were the main reason the trade fell apart, with the Cubs having serious concerns over Haren’s back stiffness that sidelined him for a part of the 2012 season.
Also, hip issues and a noticeable drop in his velocity that forced him to pitch differently than when he was a dominant power pitcher.
Haren, 31, hit the disabled list for the first time in his ten-year career in 2012, and his performance visibly suffered throughout the year. The right-hander put up a 4.33 ERA in thirty starts this past season, his highest earned-run average since 2004 and a full run worse than his 2011 mark.
The Angels bought out Haren's $15.5 million option for next season after the deal with the Cubs fell through, giving Haren $3 million to become a free agent. Haren could still re-sign with the Halos -- or anywhere else -- but if his back really is such a concern then it seems likely he will receive a large pay cut this winter.