A night of excitement, hype, build-up, and no pay-off. Someone wanna make a prom joke?

  • As you’d expect after another Trade Saga like last night’s non-trade between the Angels and Cubs involving Dan Haren and Carlos Marmol, pretty much everything in the Cubs’ world right now is about that deal. The full story of what happened hasn’t yet been published, and, as I said last night, probably never will be. The best we can do is make some educated inferences to piece things together. We know that Carlos Marmol had a limited no-trade clause, and we know that he was the first person to spill the beans. We know that up until an hour before Haren’s option deadline, LA sources were insisting other teams were involved in trying to get Haren (which now sounds like a hapless pump strategy from the Angels). We know that the deal fell apart late, reportedly because the Cubs pulled out. We know that the Angels did not deal Haren to anyone else, and paid $3.5 million to buy out his option. We also know that the Angels were able to trade Ervin Santana and his $12/$13 million 2013 option, but somehow were unable to trade Haren, even if they ate a million or two of the expected $15.5 million option (which they happily would have done, since they ended up having to pay him $3.5 million anyway).
  • Taking all of that together, what’s our narrative? Assuming we don’t get any additional information, it looks pretty clear to me. The two sides negotiated and finalized a trade, pending Marmol’s approval, and pending a review of medical information, as is always the case (but almost never an issue). The Cubs reached out to Marmol for approval, perhaps even telling him that a deal was done (because it was). He agreed to be traded, and starting talking to the media. The Cubs received Haren’s medical information, and something spooked them. From there, either the Cubs asked for more money or more in trade, or they simply pulled straight out. It may not be as black and white as “Haren is broken,” but if it hadn’t started with a medical issue, Haren would have been traded to another team. How else do you explain the Angels feeding the media a story about a bunch of other interest (but then no taker), and the Angels finding multiple suitors and a taker for Ervin Santana, but not Dan Haren? Sure, the Cubs could have been playing chicken with the Angels about the amount of money in the deal (and each team called the others’ bluff, driving off the cliff at 11pm CT, when Haren’s option decision was due), but where were the other teams? Are the Angels really such a crappily run organization that they didn’t have a back-up team in place, if Haren was, in fact, totally healthy? They aren’t that crappily run (no org is), and, thus, no other explanation I can presently think of makes sense. It was the medicals that started things unravelling.
  • Here’s what’s annoying to me about folks in the media who are now pointing out the similarities between the Haren/Marmol trade and the Dempster/Delgado trade: the only thing that was actually similar is how many members of the media said the trade was a done deal and “confirmed.” In the latter deal, the Braves leaked word of the trade to try and force Dempster’s hand in deciding on the trade, and the no-trade rights were the hold-up. In the Haren/Marmol deal, Marmol leaked word of the trade because he was willing to waive his NTC, and the Cubs pulled the deal late (presumably because of medicals). Where is the similarity? Seriously, the only similarity is how many members of the media were willing to say they had confirmed a deal. I spent the latter part of last night, and a chunk of this morning questioning myself – wondering if I did things in the best way, the most transparent way, and the fairest way. I think I did – I never said it was a done deal, and throughout, the post title indicated a trade “may” have happened – and even I feel bad about how things went down. We should all use these times as opportunities for reflection, and try to get better.
  • I had a bunch of tabs open where I had collected all of the “confirmed” articles and tweets I saw throughout the night, but I just closed them. No need to post a bunch of frustrating screenshots. Almost all of it is in my time line, and, even if those articles are changed or tweets are deleted, that’ll serve as the mirror for posterity.
  • So, what now? Well, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs not trading Marmol before the season opens, given that they’ve already had him waive his NTC for a deal. He knows they don’t want him. As for Haren, yes, he’s a free agent, but (1) the Cubs have a reason to be afraid of signing him, and (2) he might not want to come to Chicago anyway. In other words, the fact that this all happened doesn’t make the Cubs any more likely to sign him than any other team. Heck, they might not even want to give him guaranteed money at this point. Like I said above, medical issues aren’t black and white – an issue on which the Cubs didn’t want to take a chance, another team might not see as an issue at all. I’m suddenly watching Haren’s free agency with great fascination, regardless of whether the Cubs are involved or not.
  • Instead, the lasting thought I’ll leave you from this fiasco is about the awesomeness of Matt Garza. While the trade was going down, Garza was frantically tweeting about his fond farewells to Marmol, his excitement for next season, his excitement to have a horse like Haren in the rotation, etc. And then the trade busted, leaving us with this gem:


  • (In case Twitter styling is lost on you, that’s Garza first tweeting “Hearing trade is off… Oh well, still excited about February though!,” and then friend of the program Matt Clapp tweeting in response, “This is awkward,” and Garza responding, “Agreed!” Which is hilarious.)
  • Hey, one non-Marmol/Haren Bullet: Cubs Convention passes go on sale Wednesday, November 7 at 10am CT. I’ll be there. We can get a beer and talk about the inevitable five more trades that will fall apart between now and January 18, when the Convention begins.
  • Brian cubs fan

    Now we know believe a trade til it happens even once its confirmed

    • Serio

      I agree! Fucking Twitter

  • Boogens

    Great job pulling all of this together, Brett! This is why BN is always my first place to go for Cubs news. Thank you!

  • scorecardpaul

    thanks Brett, for a crazy evening, and keeping the stuff comming in. it is nice to have a place for this.

  • Sayueri

    Had to be a medical issue. I don’t see any other reason why the Cubs wouldn’t trade for Haren.

  • Frank

    If Haren is relatively healthy, my assumption is that he gets in line behind Greinke as the 2nd highest paid FA pitcher. If the Cubs decided against offering Marmol+however much cash for a 1 year commitment, I can’t imagine them giving him 3-5 years, so I wouldn’t expect Haren to be a FA option for us.

    However, the indirect effect it has is that it could lower the price on mid tier options like Marcum and McCarthy, making them more attractive as options.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      As Brett notes, given what just happened, it’s going to be almost impossible for Haren’s agent to negotiate a good deal. What he’ll probably need is a 1-year “prove that the Angels and the Cubs (and the 28 teams that wouldn’t offer the Angels a sack of baseballs for me) all are wrong” contract.

  • JR

    I love a lot about the Cubs front office. But things like this Haren deal seem to happen a lot to them. Why do deals turn into such a fiasco with them? Also, is there any change that Thed could burn some bridges playing their games? I hope not. I have a headache..

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Also, is there any change that Thed could burn some bridges playing their games?

      What games? The Cubs pulled out of a deal for a player who was subsequently let go by his team. 28 other GMs are telling themselves that they would have done the same thing as the Cubs. The Angels cannot complain: they basically said “eh, we agree with the Cubs!”

      • JR

        I understand that Doc. If Harens medicals were jacked it makes sense. Maybe the Cubs are just the most unlucky group ever with making trades work. But it seems to be a huge ordeal every time.

        • FFP

          I think the “huge ordeal” is generated outside of the deal, by the press (and us).

          Brett, thanks for yesterday’s fine work. When I read your update (around 2PM EDT) in the first Haren post about ’29 teams not 28′ I knew we’d were in for a sleigh ride either way. Reading your updates and this Nation’s thoughts on the day all day was great. (Except for the part about us still needing SP.)

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It might seem like an ordeal to the hardcore fans who are hanging on every update. However, most fans probably don’t know this happened. A lot of the players probably first heard about it after it didn’t happen.

          As for the FO, it probably was a bit of a drag: but whenever you read about what these guys do, it suggests that there are dozens of aborted trades for every one that comes to fruition. This one got a little further than most others, probably. However, if it was medical (and it makes sense that it was), well, then it shows that the system worked: that’s one of the final hurdles for a trade and at least the Cubs caught it before giving up a player.

          At any rate, just look at all the grief Cashman got (and is still getting) over Pineda. I suspect that GMs would rather be wrong a dozen times in the other direction than have a single mistake in that direction.

          • cubchymyst

            Doc, a majority of fans probably know this one happened since it was posted on ESPN for a while. The national media ran with this one quite a bit.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Only a small minority of fans read ESPN or follow baseball much at all over the off-season. We tend to think of “baseball fans” as being like, well, us. However, we are the hardcores (= “nut cases” if you aren’t fond of baseball).

              Indeed, I’m pretty hardcore, and I largely missed this: I was busy last night (mostly sleeping off my son’s decision to wake me at 4 am yesterday morning), and the last I’d heard, there were rumors that the Cubs, Sox and other teams were angling for Haren.

            • Lou

              Agreed. With the 24-hour news cycle fans know just like they were all over the situation that occurred with the Red Sox.

    • Internet Random

      This is not a fiasco. A fiasco would be grossly overpaying for someone who spends the whole term of the contract injured… or otherwise underperforming.

      • JR

        Yeah the Cubs trading for gimps is about the last thing they need to do. I think I am just all bitter with the trade deadline b.s. I am just concerned that other teams will avoid the Cubs in trades because there always seems to be some drama. Haren definitely didn’t looked like himself last year, so no biggy I guess.

    • P Hertz

      Because you listen to the media…hyping things they know nothing about (obviously). Why don’t you wait until the Cubs tell you something has happened before you get all butt-hurt.

    • cubchymyst

      I’d assume if we followed a different post for a different team this type of situation would occur occasionally their as well. The crazier part is the fact that it happened 2 times in a short period.

  • Finnner

    Much Love for Bleacher Nation. Thanks for the coverage Brett.

  • Incredibad

    Love the way you handle all the hotstove action, Brett. Crazy to see how many outlets had the deal as “done”. Keep up the great work!

  • CubFanBob

    Way I understand it trades fall apart all the time it’s just now with social media they are hard to keep quiet

  • cubsklm

    Today’s media and the social media, it’s always a rush to be first, not correct. Also, seems to me our front office is still dealing with all these NTC, and the first thing players do when they are asked to waive it, is run to the nearest media source.

    As far as Haren goes, the Cubs front office did their due diligence and than backed away.

    How many Cub players have a NTC? Seems like Hendry handed them out like water.

  • OCCubFan

    Brett, I thought you did a superb job last night of sticking to the facts, not making thing up, and not getting caught up in the hype of a “done deal.” Well done.

    • kmr1453

      Agreed. Great job, Brett

      Bleacher Nation, the #1 source for Cubs news!!

  • Tommy

    Great job reporting on the Haren thing, Brett. You have become the most reliable source for Cub info anymore. These media guys get upset at the organization when these things fall through because they want to be the guy that gets ‘the scoop’, and when it falls through, they feel silly. While you stuck to only the facts. That is an admirable trait, and much appreciated.

    On a side note – I am encouraged by our front office. I know that a lot of people see this type of thing as a bad thing, but I personally am encouraged to know that our FO isn’t afraid to stir things up and have others think them silly or incompetent in order to do the right thing. I could be wrong, but I would venture to guess there are some GM’s out there that wouldn’t have ended it at the last minute for those reasons.

    Anyhow, great job covering it, and thanks again for giving me a one stop shop for my Cubs info. It’s nice to know I can trust what I read here as accurate. If I didn’t come to Bleacher Nation, I would have gone to bed thinking this was a done deal.

    Keep up the great work, buddy!

    • Internet Random

      You’re never going to control what everybody thinks all the time, but no thinking person is going to think any less of the front office based on what is known about this attempted deal at this time.

      • Tommy

        Well, as you’ll note, I didn’t use the term ‘thinking person’ in my post. 😉

  • Kirby

    Per ESPN, it stated that Marmol has to sign his “release” of his NTC. Did he verbal and then backed out hoping for a contract extension? Does anybody know if the written release is necessary? If true, shame on the Cubs FO for not getting this done prior to moving on the trade.

    • hansman1982

      Jesus H Christ. Any reason to blame our front office, huh.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        heh, it’s even worse than that: he’s blaming the FO for the fact that Cubs players have free will and thus “might” have done things!

        Clearly the Cubs need to step up the brainwashing program.

  • Josh

    This would have been a nice trade for the Cubs. Disappointed it didn’t work out

    • P Hertz

      Obviously not, or the Cubs would have made the trade.

  • Stevie B

    Imagine this going down then Haren needing TJ in Dpring training.

    • P Hertz

      He HAS back problems. I bet his medical was atrocious.

  • Fastball

    I stand by my earlier comments. Don’t think Haren wanted to be Cub. I am not impressed with this FO. Why were they even in on Haren if nobody else was. All the money spent on this FO salaries and headcount my opinion is not favorable. There leash is to long. Ricketts you better be careful. your kid my wreck your fancy sports car.

    • Bric

      Because this team needs pitching. Any pitching. And a team that’s down by 6 in the 5th inning is going to need a closer. My guess is Thedstien was thinking this was another Paul Maholm type deal. If the Cubs don’t look around for some pitching we’re gonna have Cousin Goober and Uncle Jethro as our #4 and 5 starters.

    • Internet Random

      In my opinion Usain Bolt is the slowest runner who ever entered a race of any distance.

      See how opinions work?

      • OCCubFan

        And Bolt’s problems are all Theo’s fault.

        • Kyle

          Don’t worry, nothing is ever our front office’s fault. Not the 100-loss team they ran last year, nor the two losing teams they left behind. Not the fact that Epstein’s last two teams missed the playoffs before coming over, nor the fact that Hoyer has never GMed a playoff team in three tries.

          They get credit for the good players they get, the good players who were here before they got here, the bad players they acquire who ever had a good season at any point in their past (thus making them a “buy low” candidate), and anyone who doesn’t cost too much money or have a multi-year deal.

          • Kyle

            Oh, and the good players that they don’t get but were “in on.” Didn’t mean to fail to credit them for those.

            • Eric

              Kyle you idiot you are TOTALLY misrepresenting me and my side. YOU are the one that childishly DENIES any idea that they actually went after them. And you create a straw man to agrue against. Really fucking weak man.

              • Kyle

                Name calling isn’t nice.

                Saying “we don’t really know, and it’d be irrelevant even if we did” is not the same as denying.

              • Kyle

                Now as far as misrepresenting, I’m not sure why you feel it was directed at you when I have no idea who you are and this is the first time you’ve posted in this thread, but anyway. Let’s go down it point by point:

                “They get credit for the good players they get,”

                We can all agree on that one, right?

                “The good players who were here before they got here,”

                As evidence, I cite the Top Northwest League prospects list, when several posters were enthusiastically commenting on how great Epstein’s focus on the minor leagues was because it brought us 7 players in the Top-20 NWL list. All seven had been acquired by Hendry and inherited by Epstein.

                “the bad players they acquire who ever had a good season at any point in their past (thus making them a “buy low” candidate),”

                The continued defense of the Ian Stewart acquisition, QED.

                “and anyone who doesn’t cost too much money or have a multi-year deal.”

                Too many examples to cite any one. We constantly hear people saying, “Well, even if the player is bad, he didn’t cost anything, so it doesn’t matter?” as if MLB playing time isn’t also a valuable, scarce resource.

                “Oh, and the good players that they don’t get but were “in on.” Didn’t mean to fail to credit them for those.”

                We allegedly came in second on Cespedes and Darvish, and outbid the Dodgers on Puig, and everyone is glad to tell you. Also we offered Pujols a deal worth roughly half of what he eventually got from the Angels.

    • P Hertz

      Fastball: Yeah…Hendry woulda made that trade….and paid double. Probably extend Haren another 5 years with a no-trade clause. That’s what you want. Clueless management. Too bad you don’t get your wish.

      • Kyle

        Hendry would have given them Baez for Haren, and probably thrown in the No. 2 overall pick (which is untradeable, but I bet Hendry didn’t know that).

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Don’t think Haren wanted to be Cub.

      What Haren wants is (or was) irrelevant given that he did not seem to have a no-trade clause in his contract.

      • JR

        Haren has to be ecstatic though. He got paid 3.5 mill. to go away, and not traded to a team that was only going to use him as trade bait. And is now a Free agent. Must be nice..

      • cubfanincardinalland

        There is an article on MLB.com that interviews Haren. “After my wife and I talked it over, we really sold ourselves on how much fun it would be going to the Windy City for a year.” Damn Cubs luck.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The Cubs still could sign Haren as a free agent: but for much less than the contract that they would have acquired via the trade. I would not hold my breath on this (actually, I recommend never hold your breath unless you have hiccups): but it does suggest interest in Haren’s part.

    • bah humbug

      Fastball, you are losing velocity

  • Fastball

    The BN updates are extremely timely. Much appreciated.

  • Bric

    Brett one similarity about both broken trades that you didn’t mention is both contracts were written by Hendry. I know the NTC doesn’t seem to have gotten in the way this time but the reality is Thedstein will/should be given a 2-3 year grace period simply correcting all the bad contracts Hendry put and then left on the books.

    He over paid for over-rated talent (Zambrano, Marmol, Bradley, Sori, Wood, etc.) while drafting below average at best in the draft. “We may not have any prospects in the top 100 but we’re loaded in the 2nd 100…” This is the result.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    How bad is journalism in America today? At 9:00 am today, I got on Yahoo to check my mail, and there was an article about the Cubs trading Marmol for Haren on the Yahoo web site. Made me think they worked it out after I went to bed. Total BS. They took it down 10 minutes ago.
    Brett, you are to be commended, one of the few outlets that reported professionally.
    It is not that complicated I believe. Haren had to have big issues with his back(anybody like me with back issues knows they just don’t go away), and for that kind of money, the value just is not there. The main reason to trade a Marmol for Haren is because the latter brings more value if healthy in flipping him for long term assets. That no other team came calling tells us all we need to know.

  • Frank

    Does anyone else wonder if part of the failure of this deal was financial related? Haren’s option was 15.5 MM with a 3.5 MM buyout. From everything I heard, the main reason they wanted to dump Haren and Santana was to free up money, mainly for Greinke. The player return was to be gravy.

    Marmol would have been great gravy, but is also due 9.8MM in 2013, so the Angels would only really be saving just under 6 MM, even if the two contracts were swapped. it could very well be that the Angels expected us to pick up enough of Marmol’s salary as well as all of Haren’s so that they’d end up with no financial obligation out of the deal, or at least no more than the 3.5MM buyout, which would have the Cubs basically paying 2.2 MM of Marmol’s, and 17.2MM for a year of Haren’s services, causing our side to walk away.

    It would be a shame to miss out on the deal over 2.2MM, but it’s possible.

  • die hard

    ask yourself why good players dont want to come to the Cubs….day baseball, ownership, management, ballpark, or other?….

  • George Altman

    You have nothing to regret here, Brett. This is how news stories are handled in the social media age.

  • cubsnivy56

    Great work Brett! Timely accurate and informative. I rarely post but I check in almost every day. Great site to keep up on the Cubs. Thanks to all for sharing to help me be a better baseball fan.

  • Curt

    theo may get this turned around eventually but he’s going to have to be a miracle worker to stop cubbie occurrences from happening , oh well no haren on go the next thing whatever that maybe. Good work Brett, no one ever said this would be easy.

  • Mak

    Great coverage as always Brett. I think your medical theory is pretty sound — doesn’t bode well for Haren that, basically, no one would give him a 12M for 1 year deal. Hard to imagine him getting any multi year deal at this point, right?

  • die hard

    Cubs may want to consider converting Marmol to a starter…hes got the strength and arm…has 3 pitches….and as a former catcher, once takes some batting practice would be good for a hit/good bunt a game

    • cubchymyst

      Your talking about a 2-3 process for a guy who is already 30. I don’t think that is an option.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Thanks for all the kind words, folks. You are too nice.

  • deflated

    Somehow this feels like the second coming of Milton Bradley.

  • brian odonnell

    This is nothing like the Dempster saga.This would be a total non-issue if Marmol hadnt had great 2nd half, because no team would want him or that contract. The fact that this deal even came close to happening shows me the Cubs are moving in the right direction. Harens medicals must have looked pretty bad for the Cubs not to fleece the Angels and for every other team to pass as well. I see this as the front office likes Tony Zych and he could be up around July 31 after they trade Ryan Madson or someone like him.

  • Believe in 2015

    Wouldn’t the cubs have “some” idea about Haren’s back issues before they went through all the time and effort? I just don’t understand that

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Are you saying that they shouldn’t have even looked at Haren if they had “some idea”?

      “Some idea” doesn’t not equal certainty.