Anyone else care that Jessica Alba is pregnant? The MTAC source brigade broke the Dan Haren trade talks yesterday. This morning, its all over the Internet and newspapers. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported today that The A's indeed are talking to the Indians about Haren. However, Slusser says the man the A's want from the Tribe is Asdrubal Cabrera, something that will never happen. Haren continues to be one of the more hotly rumored names in trade talks, with Cleveland the most recent team to be linked with the right-hander, although the Indians are unlikely to part with rookie second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, who was believed to be an A's target.
The Indians could move three top pitching prospects for Haren, however, and though that would leave Cleveland thin for future seasons, the package might be more attractive than the best offer to date, a four-to-five prospect proposal from Arizona.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes is also all over this story. Hoynes says it's not just Haren GM Mark Shapiro is looking at; they also are talking about Joe Blanton and the Orioles Erik Bedard. As we pointed out yesterday, Salary wouldn't be a problem. Haren, 27, will make $4 million in 2008, $5.5 million in 2009 and $6.75 million in a club option for 2010.
The bottom line, per Hoynes: Offense is still be the Indians' need, but with trade talks for Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay and St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen grounded, Shapiro is exploring different ways to make the Indians better.
The Akron Beacon-Journal's Sheldon Ocker says the Indians can't outslug the Tigers, so bolstering their rotation is a great countermove. He has some great perspective on this as well: Shapiro has an edge, because he can tempt Beane with players who have been tested in the big leagues: Aaron Laffey, Josh Barfield, Ben Francisco, possibly Jeremy Sowers, even prized prospect Adam Miller, though it is far from certain that he would be part of the deal. Shapiro would like Cliff Lee to be part of a Haren trade, but Beane probably would shy away from a player who actually earns more than the big-league minimum.
Ocker does point out something nobody talks about: The past two seasons, Haren has dazzled opposing batters the first half of the schedule, only to falter after the All-Star break.
In 2006, Haren posted a 3.53 ERA in the first half, 4.91 after. During the past season (15-9, 3.07 ERA overall), he was virtually unhittable before the All-Star Game, compiling a 2.30 ERA and .205 batting average against. But in August, he was 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA, and in September his record dipped to 1-4 with a 4.82 ERA.
Meanwhile, the famous Mitchell report is now in the hands of MLB and reportedly there are 60-80 names that will be released Thursday. The Orioles have finally dealt alleged cheater Miguel Tejada to the Astros for former Tribe farm hand OF Luke Scott and four other minor leaguers. Props to the Orioles for dumping this bad contract. Trust us, there is no coicidence that Tejada's power numbers have completely fallen off since MLB cracked down on performance enhancing drugs. This guy is done. The Cubs spent even more money, signing Japanese all star Kosuke Fukudome to a four year, $48 deal to play Right Field. Their payroll is getting to be astronomical as well. There is no reason they shouldn't win the sad Central again next year.