Ken Rosenthal Would Be Surprised if Angels *Don’t* Trade a Pitcher This Week

Earlier this week, reports had the Angels considering moving one or both of Ervin Santana and Dan Haren before the end of the week, ahead of their respective deadlines for picking up the 2013 option the Angels hold on each. I thought each, primarily Haren, might make an interesting target for the Cubs. The gist:

Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are set to be free agents in five days. Although each is controlled under a team option for 2013, those options – $15.5 million for Haren, $13 million for Santana – are expected to be declined given the down years for Santana (73 ERA+) and Haren (87 ERA+). Haren’s option includes a hefty $3.5 million buyout, so it’s possible that the Angels will decide he’s worth that $12 million difference and keep him ….

Before making that decision, however, the Angels are going to shop each pitcher, reports Jon Heyman ….

I think the Cubs should seriously consider feeling the Angels out on both pitchers.

Why would the Cubs give up prospects to get a guy they can likely sign as a free agent in a few weeks? Why would the Cubs give up prospects to get a guy on a really expensive one-year option?

Because those are exactly the kinds of deals the Cubs would love to sign pitchers to for 2013, but which free agents tend to hate – super short-term, high dollar amounts for one year. The Cubs are in a perfect position to absorb the cost associated with what amounts to a really expensive one-year deal for Haren and/or Santana – they have the money, and they have the desire to pick up flip-able pieces. And it’s not like these are worthless pitchers. Who knows what might happen in 2013 if the Cubs added one or both of them on the relative cheap?

From the sound of a report from Ken Rosenthal today, one or both of Santana and Haren is going to be dealt this week. Rosenthal says it would be an upset if no deal is made, and cites one executive who thinks both will be moved. The Angels are being agressive, and Rosenthal reports that the option decision on Haren is due on Friday, whereas it is due on Santana today.

So, are the Cubs among the teams actively in discussions with the Angels? Rosenthal doesn’t name names, but he does list teams “among the clubs seeking help for their rotations.” On that list, he has the Royals, Twins, Blue Jays, Padres, Red Sox and Brewers. Many more teams are looking for pitching – and arguably no team is a better fit for a one-year rebound candidate like Santana than the Cubs – so I wouldn’t read too much into the exclusion of the Cubs in that list.

Will anything happen today? Later this week? It sounds like it will. I know I’m suddenly watching the Angels’ option decision on Santana much more closely (assuming it is, indeed, today), and will be following the Haren story closely as well.

Even if neither goes to the Cubs, their movement(s) will have an impact on the pitching market, which will, in turn, have an impact on the Cubs’ offseason. In other words, whatever happens, this is a relatively important story to follow.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

69 responses to “Ken Rosenthal Would Be Surprised if Angels *Don’t* Trade a Pitcher This Week”

  1. WGNstatic

    Ahhh… the game begins:

    In other words, whatever happens, this is a relatively important story to follow.

    We are 4 days into the offseason, and Brett already has us wrapped around his finger, refreshing furiously for the latest news and rumors. ;)

    Life on a Cubs blog in the offseason at its best

  2. Cubbie Blues

    From the Angels’ website:

    By 9 p.m. PT on Wednesday, they must decide whether to pick up Ervin Santana’s $13 million option.
    By 9 p.m. PT on Friday, they must decide the same on the $15.5 million option in Dan Haren’s contract.

    So, yes, it looks like the decision on Santana’s option is today.

    1. Luke

      9 PM PT… so midnight Eastern.

      I’ll probably still be up then anyway. It may not go to the deadline, but I bet it gets within an hour or two.

  3. Me

    To me it sounds like Santana will be Cubs bound today.

    Just a hunch though

  4. Frank

    I’d love to have Haren, however, I’d be surprised if KC didn’t aggressively pursue him, and they’d likely be willing to give up more than our side.

  5. ZachCubs82

    I woud like to see the Cubs go after Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, and Shaun Marcum

    1. Frank

      Why? Marcum and Mc

    2. Frank

      Sorry. Marcum and McCarthy would certainly be upgrades for us, but not worth that contracts they’ll get due to the weak market. Haren and Santana would be riskier, but would be one year commitments only. Besides, we could probably get both. And Dallas Braden isn’t very good.

      As for Haren or Santana, Haren’s obviously the better option, but Santana’s more of the type acquisition that I’d expect from our FO based on their short time here. Former top prospect who has had some success but is now little more than a mid risk reclamation. I’d be all for him, certainly over raiding the junk bin for more guys like Germano, Socolovich, and such.

  6. Troy

    I’m curious as to what type of prospect the Cubs would give up to land one or both of these two pitchers

  7. Dr. Percival Cox

    If there really are that many teams involved in the talks, it might not be as cheap as everyone hopes to grab one.

    1. Mick

      It could also be DiPoto calling Rosenthal with a scoop to motivate teams to come with their best and final offers.

      The Cubs could really turn the Angels into a one-stop shop though if they can think bigger than just Santana or Haren. If the Angels are this motivated to trade players because of $4.5M in buyouts think how motivated they’d be if we offered to take on Vernon Wells’ contract. Throw them Barney and Marmol and we could get those three and a couple of MLB ready prospects like Nick Maronde and Peter Bourjos. As soon as we trade Soriano we slide Wells over to LF and Bourjos becomes the everyday CF. Maronde could start in the bullpen and we could stretch him out after the we trade Haren at the deadline.

      1. BluBlud

        Give me Moronde, but you can keep Bourjos.

        OH, BTW, I don’t see this happening considering the have Kendrick and Aybar, both better then Barney, up the middle already.

        1. Mick

          Cowart’s been tearing up the AFL maybe we could swap Bourjos out with him??? Barney would make a pretty good utility infielder for a contending club and he would give the Angels options. Maybe they non-tender or trade Callaspo, they could move Hendrick to 3B and Barney would start at 2B. Callaspo’s set to make around $5M in arbitration so, that could be more money the Angels use to acquire pitching.

          I’m just trying to get creative because I don’t see a lot of value in trading a prospect for Santana and/or Haren and hoping to trade one or both at the deadline for a better prospect and oh, by the way Haren’s set to earn $15.5M and Santana $13M. I’d think we could do just as good if not better ROI-wise finding a couple of bounceback candidate SP’s off the FA list like Liriano or heck, Santana at a reduced price after his option gets declined.

          1. Jeremy

            I don’t see the Angels trading Cowart at all as much as I like him. I think they trade Callaspo before him.

  8. Stevie B

    Hey WGN….I certainly hope you’re not busting Brett’s minerals, as he could be busy floating around a bunch of crap that has absolutely NO merit just to keep us on the pain train. This IS valid and interesting info.
    Brett, this entry got my attention meter to peg a good solid 2.5, which isn’t bad for October 31st.

    1. WGNstatic

      No, truly only playful kidding. Like I said, I am checking in on the site throughout the day, and I really do appreciate (and curse at the same time for my hours lost) the work Brett does to give us all our fix.

  9. ncsujuri

    Yeah, what Troy asked….

  10. Zach

    I remember Theo’s first press confrence when someone ask him if he thought cold weather played a part in certain players in the begining of the year. He agreed and thought it would hav to be evaluated when signing free agents. Im not a big fan of either of them. Both are flyball pitchers and getting on the older side. They both have pitched 90 % of there games in warmer climates and both have had some injuries in the past. I pitched in college and it makes a diffrence pitching in warmer weather.Im not saying that players cant make that change but why would the cubs pick up those two pitchers and risk either of them starting the season off bad.I think they should go after Ryu,Villenueva and Marcum.

  11. Cubbie Blues

    Doesn’t sound like Haren wants to go anywhere

    “I’m sick of changing teams,” Haren said after his final start of the season. “Coming to L.A. was a dream come true, really, so it’s going to be hard if I leave. Wherever I go, I’ll obviously give 100 percent effort, just like I did every start here. But L.A. has always had more of a significance to me, just because I grew up so close to Angel Stadium. Regardless of where I play, I’ll probably reside close to the Orange County area.”

    It may only be end of season emotions though.

  12. LwEB23

    What are the odds that the Cubs pretend to be in play for a trade, allowing the trade market on them to go up and out of reach of other potential buyers…. Therefore, letting them become free agents for us to sign one of them…. Thoughts?

  13. Kyle

    The Cubs need to make better use of $15 million and a rotation spot than either of these guys, though Haren would be at least defensible.

  14. calicubsfan007

    I would love Haren to be traded to us. I watched him play in AZ, and he was easily the ace. I know that Santana is more likely the guy we would go after due to age, affordability, etc, but I think that the Cubs should really kick the tires on Haren. He is a quality pitcher with great character, as he was the face of both the Dbacks and many charitable organizations in AZ during his stay there.

  15. CM


  16. skidrow


  17. Rudymeolismullet

    Why trade prospects for a guy for 3 months to trade for prospects? I say stay the course…Wait for King Felix next year, and then make our move!

  18. Rcleven

    Royals Acquire Ervin Santana

  19. Frank

    Royals send LHP Brandon Sisk to the Angels–a 27 year old reliever at AAA; 2.54 ERA in 50 games.

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  21. Fastball

    If we can get Haren in a deal similiar to what Santana was acquired for then do it. The clock is ticking Theo

  22. Kyle

    “That isn’t the plan. I know that upsets you. I know you think you could do it better.”

    More importantly, I think Epstein and Hoyer could do it better.

  23. Frank

    If the Angels are interested in Marmol, why not send him straight up for Haren and pay the difference between the two salaries. Then we could pick up a bargain bin closer option such as Lidge or Jenks and hope for the best.

  24. nkniacc13

    I wonder if the price for haren would go down a bit if the cubs were to take wells in the deal.

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