Dan Haren exercises $10 million player option to stay with Dodgers

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that veteran right-hander Dan Haren has exercised his $10 million player option to stay with the Dodgers for 2015.

Haren’s option vested when he reached the 180-inning mark in September, but he had the ability to decline it and test free agency. However, he has decided to stick around.

Haren finished strong this season and ended up with a 4.02 ERA across 32 starts. The 34-year-old had arthroscopic surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder last week, but he should be fine for spring training.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?