Of all my preseason award predictions, I would have to say I missed the most on Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren winning the Cy Young award. Prior to this season, Haren was one the most underrated pitchers in all of MLB, accumulating three seasons of a 6.0 fWAR in his previous four. So it was surprising to see Haren struggle so badly this season, especially with the new and improved Angels’ squad. For this reason, not only do the Angels plan on not picking up Haren’s $15 million option, but there are MLB rumors spreading about the Angels not even offering Haren a qualifying offer.
If you don’t understand why that is a big deal, let me try to explain it to you. If Los Angeles doesn’t even give Haren a qualifying offer, he will be unprotected on the open market, meaning that whatever teams signs Haren will not have to cough up any compensation. This is a huge deal for the Haren suitors.
I truly believe Haren will be the biggest steal on the open market this season. Sure, he has injury concerns, but I am willing to bet he bounces back in a big way in 2013. It would be wise of Haren to wait until his 2012 teammate Zack Greinke signs so he can get the best offer possible.
If I were a GM, I would completely forget about Greinke and move all-in on Haren. I highly doubt he will repeat his 2012, especially his 1.43 HR/9 rating.
A 3-year, $36 million deal seems pretty feasible for a guy of Haren’s caliber. We just have to wait and see what team is smart enough to realize how good this guy really is.