It appeared Dan Haren was Chicago-bound just a few hours ago, but he’s now a free agent.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels have declined the $15.5 million club option on Haren’s contract for 2013. He will receive a $3.5 million buyout and test the open market.
Yes, somehow the Angels were able to trade Ervin Santana, but couldn’t find a taker for Haren. Most thought the reverse would happen at the start of this week. Very strange. Of course, it’s not clear why the proposed trade with the Cubs fell apart and it’s possible Jerry Dipoto simply didn’t have enough time to find another deal he was satisfied with. Given the reports that the Angels were actually going to send money to the Cubs for Carlos Marmol, perhaps the failed deal was a blessing in disguise.
Haren, 32, is coming off a disappointing season where he posted a 4.33 ERA and 142/38 K/BB ratio over 176 2/3 innings while showing diminished velocity and dealing with a back issue. However, there will likely be plenty of teams lining up for a possible rebound.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.