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.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.