There are multiple reports that the Cubs and Angels have traded Carlos Marmol for Dan Haren.The Angels seemed reluctant to keep Haren on a $15.5m option year. Per Robothal, the Angels might kick in the $3.5m that they would have had to pay for Haren's buyout. Bruce Levine has confimed the deal, however there are conflicting reports that another team may still be involved in negotiations with the Angels.
As much slagging of Haren as there seems to be going around the twittersphere, Haren posted 2.1 tWAR, 1.8 fWAR last year. On the other hand, the more ERA-based bWAR had him as a sub-replacement level pitcher. Haren's fastball velocity slipped to 88.5 last year, about a 1-2 mph drop from his career average. However, Haren's not a guy who is really blowing a fastball past batters anyway. Haren throws a ton of cutters and splitters, and velocity doesn't matter quite so much with those. Last season didn't look great, he's 31, and there are some injury concerns with his back, but he's only one year removed from a 6 fWAR season (4 bWAR). Gut reaction-wise, I'm more than happy to take that for a volatile reliever who will be paid close to $10m next year that has walked roughly 6.25 batters per nine innings over the past three seasons.
Let's take a look at the projections for each of these guys anyway. As far as I know, there aren't any projections out yet that use 2012 season data, so I'll stick with the Oliver long term forecasts from The Hardball Times. I know that Oliver updates rest of season stats weekly, but I'm not sure if it also updates the multi-year forecast (reading between the lines on that projection, I think the answer is yes). Here are Haren and Marmol's 2012 predictions with their hopefully old teams
Of course, this doesn't take into account the change in leagues, as well as (maybe) last year's stats. Marmol is only going to look worse with a shift to the better hitting league, while Haren is only going to look better. From what I remember, the usual shift between leagues is 0.5 WAR. Thus, based on this projection Haren would be worth 1.9 WAR and Marmol -0.1, a clear win for the Cubs.
But what about the money? Marmol is due $9.8m next year, and Haren will be due $15.5m. I'll assume that the Cubs take on the full amount, though if the Angels kick in some more, even better. Last year the $WAR was about $5m per win, according to fangraphs (though if you go by Indians GM Mark Shapiro, it's closer to $9m). Anyway, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume there will be a lot more inflation than usual due to the new CBA, and guesstimate $WAR at $7m per win. In that case, Marmol has a net value of $-10.5m to the Angels, while Haren has a net value of $-2.2m to the Cubs. Obviously, you can adjust these factors as you see fit ($WAR, or Haren's projection due to his struggles last year), but it's hard to adjust them enough to conclude that this isn't a huge win for the Cubs.
I seem to be on an island with this one, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cubs renoegotiate the deal and sign Haren to a reasonable extension. There's still some upside there (6 fWAR in 2011), and from a negotiation standpoint his value has never been lower. He might not be the ace that he was before, but I think he can still be a quality pitcher in the NL. Plus, it's not like players like Jason Berken, Casey Coleman, Chris Rusin, and Brooks Raley are going to be knocking the door down to edge him out of the rotation.
Per Robothal, it seems like all we know for sure has happened is that the Cubs have asked Marmol to waive his NTC. No deal has been agreed to.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 3, 2012
Multiple sources are now saying that the deal is not happening. Blech.
Apparently it was the CUBS that axed the deal. Fuck the heck?