Angels exploring trades for Dan Haren and Ervin Santana

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We heard last month that the Angels were likely to decline their club options on Dan Haren and Ervin Santana in order to focus their efforts on signing impending free agent Zack Greinke, but things could get interesting in the next couple of days.

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Angels are currently exploring potential trades for Haren and Santana. The Angels have until Wednesday to decide whether to pick up their options for next season, so they don’t have a lot of time to find a match.

Haren’s option is worth $15.5 million and includes a $3.5 million buyout. Meanwhile, Santana’s option is worth $13 million and carries a $1 million buyout.

Haren was bothered by a back injury this season and posted a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts while showing decreased velocity, but a team could be willing to take the one-year gamble via trade rather than sign him to a multi-year contract as a free agent. The 32-year-old right-hander can block trades to 12 clubs. Finding a taker for Santana might prove more difficult after he posted a 5.16 ERA over 30 starts this season and allowed a major-league high 39 homers in 178 innings.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.