Based on Arizona’s underwhelming return for Dan Haren and the right-hander’s giddy reaction to being traded to another West Coast team it’s clear that his no-trade clause played a role in limiting the Diamondbacks’ options.
Minnesota and Detroit were among the teams linked to Haren last week, but both were reportedly on his no-trade list and it’s no surprise that he was less than enthusiastic about the possibility of going to a cold-weather city in the middle of the country.
Haren was born and raised in California, played college ball at Pepperdine University in Malibu, spent the past six seasons in Oakland and Phoenix, and sounds thrilled to be moving to Anaheim:
I was born and raised 20 minutes from there, and I still have a lot of family there. This point in my career, being on the West Coast has a lot of value for me. Being able to be near family and going to a ball club that is dedicated to winning–for not just this year but a lot of years–I am very excited for the chance to go there and win.
I’m willing to accept that Haren’s ability to block a deal to several interested teams limited the Diamondbacks’ options, but they still sold very low on a 29-year-old pitcher signed for reasonable money through 2013 and the package they ended up accepting from the Angels was largely built around a significantly worse 29-year-old pitcher they’re overvaluing because of his nice-looking winning percentage.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.