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.
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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.