Earlier this week Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com wrote that the Angels were likely to decline their 2013 options on Dan Haren and Ervin Santana while focusing on re-signing Zack Greinke to a huge long-term deal.
Gonzalez cited “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” and … well, Haren thinks whoever that source is has “dumb timing” and “stupid timing.”
Here’s more, via Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN Los Angeles:
Whatever source familiar with the Angels’ thinking said it, I think it was probably dumb timing for them to say something. We have 10 days left, two weeks left. I think the last thing myself or Ervin are thinking about is our status for next year. We’re focused on the task at hand. I thought it was really stupid timing for something like that to come out.
He’s right, of course, although it’s important to note that “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” doesn’t necessarily mean someone in the Angels organization and in fact the phrasing actually suggests the person isn’t in the Angels organization. In which case they probably don’t care about the timing and what impact it could have on the Angels’ playoff chances.
Haren also made it clear that he wants to remain with the Angels beyond this season, saying “of course I want to come back” and “of course I want to stay.” He went on to say that he understands how the team may have lost confidence in him this season, but cited his strong track record and added: “If I don’t come back, I’ll go somewhere else and help that team out.”
Based on that track record choosing his $15.5 million option instead of a $3.5 million buyout would be a no-brainer, but based on the 32-year-old’s 4.32 ERA and back problems this season the decision on Haren is much tougher.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.