There has been an influx of San Francisco Giants trade rumors recently, but the latest rumor involves former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren, who was traded to the Miami Marlins on December 11th.
According to reports, the Giants asked the Marlins about a possible acquisition of Haren, before they re-signed Jake Peavy. Since being traded to the Marlins, Haren has stated that he’d rather retire than play away from his family, who resides in Southern California.
Fast forward to January, and there are now reports that the Marlins will try to trade Haren back to the West Coast.
All of this information relates back to the Giants because of their initial interest in Haren back in December but also because one of the Giants’ starting pitchers, Tim Hudson, just had surgery this past Friday to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. Hudson is expected to be ready to go by Opening Day, as the recovery time is expected to be around eight weeks.
There is still the possibility that Hudson could miss his first start or some extra time in April or even partly into May though, but Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow said in an interview on KNBR on Wednesday that he believes that Hudson’s injury isn’t concerning.
“Better now than the first day of Spring Training,” Krukow told KNBR 680-AM Wednesday morning. “… Even if he doesn’t make his first start till the first of May — fine.
“Think about what he did last year. He was great earlier in the year and at age 38 he started to sputter a little bit and leaked a little oil as the season wore on. So my whole thing is ‘start him later.’ And this may cause that. The rehab on his ankle may delay his first start. So what?
“If you miss him in April and half of May, well you’re gonna have him through the month of September, which is more important anyway, and then hopefully back into October. So I’m not overly concerned about it. It’s not a career-ender, and I think if anything, it’s going to allow him to pitch deeper into the season…”
Even though it’s likely that Hudson will be back at or near the beginning of the 2015 season, the Giants might want to add another starting pitcher as insurance or possibly even regardless of Hudson’s health.
Long reliever Yusmeiro Petit already provides some insurance for the starting rotation, as he’s more than capable of making spot starts when necessary. However, the starting rotation still has some serious questions marks, including about Hudson and Matt Cain‘s health this upcoming season and Tim Lincecum‘s effectiveness.
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Therefore, it might make sense for the Giants to add another starting pitcher with 11 years of MLB experience like Haren. In addition, he has ample experience pitching in the NL West, as he’s played for the Dodgers, as mentioned earlier, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Last season with the Dodgers, Haren had a 4.02 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, a 13-11 record, and 145 strikeouts in 186 innings pitched. For his career, he has a 3.77 ERA.
The Giants’ current starting rotation will most likely be Madison Bumgarner, Cain, Peavy, Hudson, and Lincecum. If Haren replaced Lincecum in the rotation, would it significantly improve the Giants and their chances at winning the NL West in 2015? It probably wouldn’t significantly improve their chances, but given Lincecum’s inconsistency, Haren would probably give the Giants a better shot at winning on the days of his starts than if Lincecum was starting.
Haren wants to come back to the West Coast, so it would certainly be an intriguing idea for him to sign with a Bay Area team that has won three World Series titles in five years.