As of late Friday night, the Cubs trade for Dan Haren is reportedly off. Here's what the Cubs would have acquired in Haren:
Haren has thrown more pitches than any other pitcher in baseball with the exception of C.C. Sabathia over the past five seasons. He is also one of only 3 pitchers to make 30 or more starts each of the last 8 seasons along with Mark Buehrle and Bronson Arroyo.
Haren has top of the rotation stuff when he is healthy but in 2012 he failed to throw in excess of 200 innings for the first time since 2004 when he was still in the infancy of his career. He is a horse who wants the ball every fifth day and he looks to pitch deep into games every time out. In 2010 after arriving in LA after a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks he posted a 2.87 ERA in 94 innings and in 2011 he compiled a very solid 3.17 ERA in 238.1 innings of work.
However, Haren would have came to Chicago with some questions about his long-term viability as a 1 or 2 starter due to a decrease in his velocity this past season and a back injury that limited his innings to only 176.2 and saw his ERA jump to 4.33 in 30 starts. Should the back issues continue to flare up and should the decrease in velocity be a long term problem then Haren will not be the rotation piece that the Cubs hope they would have received. If the velocity returns and Haren stays healthy then landing him in what should be a motivated year with his contract expiring would have proven to be the best move so far of the EpsteinHoyer regime. When you factor in that the price to acquire him is closer Carlos Marmol that leaves the Cubs a hole in the back of their bullpen but that hole will be much easier to fill than landing a potential major rotation piece.
Should the Cubs surprisingly find themselves in contention in the division or for one of the two Wild Card spots Haren would have undoubtedly played a major role However, if they find themselves headed for another tough season Haren could have been used as a chip at the deadline.