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Nationals Getting Lots Of Advice On Dan Haren; Potential Trade

Should the Washington Nationals trade Dan Haren? Now that he's cleared waivers and is pitching more like he did throughout most of his career, should the Nationals trade the right-hander? Can they find a deal that convinces them to do it?

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In entertaining the idea of trading Dan Haren, who has cleared waivers and could be dealt to any team at this point, Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell wrote on Monday, "If you get a very good offer now, just jump at it." A good deal for Haren in the WaPost writer's opinion? "Someone you rate at least as high as Taylor Jordan or Tanner Roark -- a real candidate for your rotation in the future."

"The biggest consideration is: 'What do we get back?' If the answer is 'a lot,' then make the deal..." - Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell Dan Haren on potential Haren deal

When Nats' GM Mike Rizzo talked about the possibility of dealing the veteran right-handed starter recently, he told reporters including the WaPost's Mr. Boswell's colleague, Adam Kilgore, that the Nationals would listen to offers. "'I wouldn’t be doing my job if we didn’t,'" Rizzo said, "'But we would have to get ourselves a good package of players to consider moving him.'"

St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold too reported on Monday that, "the Nationals want a group of prospects," in return for the 32-year-old, 11-year major leaguer, and noted that, "They can position as if they'll get draft-pick compensation for Haren even if they have no plan to offer him a qualifying contract."

The Nats signed Haren to a 1-year/$13M this winter after a disappointing 2012 campaign in which the starter landed on the DL for the first time in his career. Though Haren wasn't sure why, there were concerns among interested teams with a hip issue he's dealt with throughout his career, the back issue which landed him on the disabled list and his decreased velocity over the last few seasons.

While the first half of the 2013 season made the $13M deal look like a mistake, and had Haren thinking he was a few bad starts away from being released, he's battled back since returning from the second DL stint of his career. In 10 games, nine of them starts, since returning to the Nats' rotation, Haren has given up 11 walks (1.74 BB/9) and six home runs (0.95 HR/9) while recording 57 Ks (9.00 K/9) and posting a 2.53 ERA over 57 IP in which he's held opposing hitters to a .208/.255/.329 line. So trade him now, when he's on a run?

"The biggest consideration is: 'What do we get back?'" the Washington Post's Mr. Boswell wrote on Monday, "If the answer is 'a lot,' then make the deal for the future rather than take the longshot on making the last [Wild Card]."'s Ken Rosenthal pondered the possibility of the Nationals trading Haren in an article this morning, writing that, "The Nationals’ admittedly high asking price on right-hander Dan Haren is not simply because of the absences of left-hander Ross Detwiler and righty Taylor Jordan," both of whom are on the DL, but also because they've won, "... five of their past six and 11 of their past 16, are still in position to dream," about that last Wild Card spot the WaPost's Mr. Boswell mentions.

While agreeing that it remains a long shot, Mr. Rosenthal writes that the interest in Haren in "limited" according to the writer's sources and he notes that the Nationals could simply keep Haren, make a qualifying offer (expected to be around $14M) and then take the draft pick compensation if he ends up signing somewhere else and returning to the West Coast and his family as he's hinted he'd like to. "But would they really want to take a chance," Mr. Rosenthal asks, that he might take the qualifying offer?

They gave him a 1-year/$13M deal for this season. 1-year/$14M for "second-half" Haren if they believe the right-hander can continue to pitch like he is now? Would the Nationals do that for a 4th or 5th starter?

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