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.
Who wouldnt want to acquire a well regarded starting pitcher who was entering the final year of his contract and would be extremely motivated to have a great season and earn another multi-year payday? When you factored in that the price was reliever Carlos Marmol, who has frustrated Cubs fans over the past few seasons with his wildness and high wire act that many times ended in a blown save, it seemed too good to be true.
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 Harens 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.
After the Angels proposed trade with the Cubs fell through, LA decided against picking up Harens 15.5 million dollar option making him a free agent. It appears that the Cubs are not interested in pursuing Haren as a free agent, but they are discussing possible deals with free agent pitchers Brandon McCarthy, Shaun Marcum and are also looking at several trade options.
This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Fremd senior Grace Tworek.
Tworek has led the Vikings on and off the court this season. Last week, the Harvard commit put up a career-high 29 points in a win over Wheeling.
Learn more about Tworek's success in the video above.
CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday.
The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.
Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.
Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.
The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season.
Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.