The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels highlighted the night prior to free agency, swapping two big name pitchers across clubs. The Angels sent starting pitcher, Dan Haren in exchange for former Cubs’ closer, Carlos Marmol. The trade fills two big needs for both teams, with Chicago in need of an experienced starting pitcher and the Angels looking for someone who can close out ball games. You can view another angle of the trade from Rant Sports writer, Bryan Lutz here.
Haren, 32, had an average season this past year, posting a 12-13 record for the Angels to go with a 4.33 earned run average in 30 starts. Marmol enters the final year of his contract in 2013, following a 20 save performance in 2012.
Haren comes to the Cubs with a 15.5 million dollar club option, but Chicago should wisely go through with the option. Haren could slide right behind Matt Garza as the Cubs number two option in the starting rotation. The Cubs will likely also be active in the free agent market, possibly looking to acquire former Minnesota Twins starting pitcher, Scott Baker who could become their fourth starter in the rotation. A potential Cubs rotation for 2013 could be quite formidable, with Garza, Haren, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and a free agent acquisition.
Although Haren will become a free agent in 2013 if the Cubs pickup his option, he could be open to resigning with Chicago. With this move, the Cubs have shown their commitment to winning and have a nice core that continues to grow, highlighted by recently extended shortstop Starlin Castro. Even if Haren decides not to commit long-term, the Cubs could move him to a contender when the trade deadline arrives and continue to stockpile prospects in their minor league system.
This could be the first of some major moves this off-season for both the Cubs and Angels.