Dan Haren was dealt from the Dodgers to the Marlins in a seven-player trade last month despite his previous comments that he would rather retire than pitch for a team away from his family in Southern California. He has been mulling over his situation since the trade, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the veteran right-hander has officially informed the Marlins that his preference hasn’t changed and that he wants to pitch out West for a team who has spring training in Arizona.
It’s unclear whether Haren will retire and forfeit his $10 million salary for 2015 if the Marlins are unable to find a match. As part of the trade, the Dodgers agreed to pay $10 million to the Marlins even if Haren retires.
Haren, 34, posted a 4.02 ERA and 145/36 K/BB ratio in 186 innings across 32 starts last season. He has reportedly been “holding out hope” for a trade to the Angels or Padres, but there’s no indication that either team has interest in a deal.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.