The Los Angeles Dodgers’ signing of Dan Haren prior to the 2014 season appeared to be a stroke of genius as the right-hander got off to a 4-0 start with a 2.39 ERA in his first six outings.
Haren then hit a bit of a rough patch that saw his ERA climb to as high as 3.57, but still managed to pitch himself to an 8-4 record. However once July rolled around, Haren struggled mightily and lost five straight decisions.
Haren eventually managed to turn his season back around a bit and triggered a vesting option for 2015 by reaching 180 innings pitched. To no surprise Haren exercised the $10 million option, but his return to Los Angeles may not be guaranteed.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Haren has been included in trade talks:
Dodgers veteran starter Dan Haren’s name has surfaced in trade talks, but it might be interesting to see if he accepts a trade.
At age 34 and after spending the better of four of the last five seasons in Southern California, there’s some belief Haren would retire if he’s traded out of the city:
While Haren, a Los Angeles area native, doesn’t have a no-trade clause, league sources suggest they’ve heard Haren might be inclined to walk away from baseball if he’s traded anywhere besides the Angels
Prior to making his decision to return next season official, Haren said retirement after 2014 was a possibility and cited the amount of money he’s made in his career as being more than enough. Though he also added in August he wasn’t concerned about the vesting option, he later admitted it had been on his mind.
Haren finished the season with a 13-11 record and 4.02 ERA. He bounced back from the five-game skid to go 5-2 in his final 10 starts of the season. Haren was not only one of four Dodgers’ starting pitchers to reach double-digit wins, it was the 10th season he’s won at least 10 games.
Should the Dodgers opt to trade Haren, it would further add to some of the uncertainty at the backend of the starting rotation. Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez are both free agents and are unlikely to be re-signed, and Josh Beckett announced his intentions to retire. That being said, the Dodgers presumably would want to receive a starter in exchange for Haren that could help fill the void.