Washington Nationals' general manager Mike Rizzo talked about potentially trading soon-to-turn 33-year-old right-hander Dan Haren back in late August when he told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, that the Nats would listen to offers for the 11-year veteran who was then in the midst of a second-half resurgence.
"'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.'" No deal was made before the Waiver and Postseason Eligibility Deadline on August 31st.
According to a report by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tonight, however, the Nationals and New York Yankees did discuss a deal recently. "The Yankees and Nationals talked about a trade involving Haren last weekend," the bow-tied reporter wrote, "but never got close to a deal, major league sources tell FOX Sports."
Though Yankees' GM Brian Cashman, "declined to confirm the Haren discussions on Thursday," according to Mr. Rosenthal, he did say that New York was still looking for ways to improve. Though the Nationals' high asking price and the fact that they remain in the hunt for a postseason berth were cited as reasons a deal might be unlikely when talk surfaced a few weeks back, the FOXSports.com reporter wrote tonight that, "Money likely was an obstacle in the talks between the Yankees and Nationals."
In addition to the fact that Haren is still owed $1.5M on the 1-year/$13M dollar deal he signed with Washington this past winter (according to Mr. Rosenthal), he would likely have gotten in only three more starts this season and would have been ineligible for postseason play if traded. At the time of the rumored talks, Haren, who came back from the DL on July 8th and had a 2.53 ERA over ten games, nine starts and 57 IP in which he held opponents to a .208/.255/.329 line, had gone through two rough starts against the New York Mets and Miami Marlins in which he gave up 15 hits and 12 ER in 5 2/3 IP.
On Wednesday night in Citi Field, in his 27th start of the year, Haren held the Mets scoreless over six innings in which he allowed just one hit. "He made quality pitches all night long and good hitters couldn't handle him," Davey Johnson told reporters after the game. "Just what we needed. Close ballgame and he kept us right there."
On the year, Haren now has a 5.02 ERA, a 4.15 FIP, 26 HRs (1.55 HR/9) and 27 walks (1.61 BB/9) allowed and 137 Ks (8.18 K/9) collected in 150 2/3 IP.
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