The Dan Haren-Ervin Santana trade efforts have been upgraded to: “aggressive”

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We heard about the Angels’ efforts to unload Dan Haren and/or Ervin Santana before the team is required to exercise their 2013 options this week, but the heat on that was tepid at best. There was talk of the desire to trade them, but no real sense if anything could get done.

Ken Rosenthal, however, is bullish:

Be prepared for the Angels to make at least one trade this week. At this point, it will be an upset if they do not. The team, according to major league sources, is aggressively trying to move right-handers Dan Haren andErvin Santana before deciding on their respective — and expensive — club options for 2013.

Santana’s season was close to nightmarish. Haren was best by back trouble. Haren’s option is worth $15.5 million and includes a $3.5 million buyout, and he has no-trade protection for 12 teams. Santana’s option is worth $13 million and carries a $1 million buyout.

Whether these two move in the next couple of days — and what the Angels reap in return — could be an early signal as to how desperate teams are for pitching right now and just how stinkin’ rich free agents like Zack Greinke and Edwin Jackson are poised to become this winter.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.