San Francisco Giants and Marlins Could Make Good Trade Partners, Part Two


Last week, I discussed a Miami Marlins’ player the San Francisco Giants could target to upgrade their bench, which is one of their glaring needs. Super utility man Martin Prado would not only be able to play just about every position on the diamond, but he would add a solid bat to a Giants’ bench that really could use a little pop. After some thought, another Marlins’ player that could fill a different need for the Giants came to mind.

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It’s no big secret that the Giants need another reliable starting pitcher who could eat up some innings. Madison Bumgarner and Chris Heston have both been horses this season, and San Francisco has ridden them to 124 and 119 innings, respectively. Behind them, there is a lot of question marks.

Jake Peavy has been very strong in three starts since returning from the disabled list, but he hasn’t shown the ability to go deep into ballgames consistently. He seems to wear down more often than not when going through a lineup a third time. Maybe as time goes on, that stamina will return, but only time will tell.

Matt Cain is still on a pitch limit after missing nearly a year with a couple different arm ailments. With the pitch count, he likely also won’t be able to consistently eat innings and save the bullpen. Like with Peavy, that durability may come with time, but there’s no way of knowing that right now.

Tim Hudson is clearly not the same pitcher Giants’ fans saw in the first half last season. He has worn down, and at 40 years old, his tank may be almost empty. Tim Lincecum may never be able to pitch again, as he has a “degenerative issue” in both of his hips. Even if he is able to return, Lincecum was ineffective before hitting the disabled list, and he can’t be trusted down the stretch.

Getting another reliable starter, one that can consistently go deep into games, should be one of the Giants’ priorities as the trade deadline crawls closer. That’s where the Marlins, and Dan Haren, come in.

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Haren isn’t the typical ace that a lot of teams are looking to acquire to push them over the top, but that could help the Giants. The Giants don’t have a ton of trade chips, but Haren would come a lot cheaper than someone like Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, or even Mike Leake. Multiple teams are looking to acquire Haren, as Fox Sports’ Lindsey Foltin reported, but specific teams were not mentioned.

Another factor that could work in the Giants’ favor is that Haren wants to pitch on the west coast. During the offseason, when Haren was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Marlins, Haren made it well known that he would consider retirement rather than pitch on the east coast.

Haren decided against retirement, and he made a good choice. For the fourth-place Marlins, Haren is 7-5 with a 3.46 ERA, and a very tidy 1.085 WHIP, as well as an extremely solid 1.8 walks per nine innings. He’s thrown 117 innings this year, going six innings 15 times, and seven or more innings in five of his 19 starts. Haren can definitely eat up some innings, having gone over 200 innings in seven straight season from 2005 to 2011.

The tall right-hander is a great control pitcher with a deceptive motion, featuring a pause in his delivery that is commonly seen among Japanese pitchers. He is a flyball pitcher, and he has the kind of stuff that would play well at AT&T Park. Haren has gotten 47 percent of his outs this season through the air, and with the big park behind him, he could do well.

Plus, in a rotation that features Heston and Bumgarner, a pair of big hitters, Haren’s bat would fit right in. He’s a career .208 hitter with 26 doubles and 38 runs batted in. In two starts against the Giants this season, Haren has three hits in five at-bats, including a double and three RBI. Everyone loves a pitcher who rakes.

Haren might not be the most appealing name on the market, but the Giants have made a living off of picking up guys who weren’t exactly “coveted” over the past few years. What Haren would bring is a reliable starter who can consistently eat some innings, and give his team a chance to win just about every time out. That’s exactly what the Giants need.

Next: Buster Posey Quietly Putting Together MVP Season