Pitcher Dan Haren, who had been considering retirement, has informed the Marlins that he will report for spring training, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
But that doesn’t mean that Haren definitely will end up pitching for the Marlins.
Haren, 34, has again asked the Marlins to trade him to a West Coast team so that he can be closer to his family in Southern California.
The Marlins have found no takers to this point, but they have renewed attempts to trade him and there’s still a possibility a deal could be worked out.
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As part of the trade with the Dodgers that sent second baseman Dee Gordon and Haren to the Marlins, the Dodgers agreed to pay Haren’s $10 million salary next season whether he pitches for them or not.
The Marlins want to keep that money whether they retain Haren or not. So a team trading for Haren would need to pay his $10 million salary.
If the Marlins trade Haren, that $10 million would be allocated toward paying Mat Latos’ projected $8.3 million salary.
The Marlins would gladly welcome Haren because they believe he’s still a quality big-league starter and would be effective in spacious Marlins Park. And Haren has made clear to the Marlins that he believes they have a talented young team and that his desire to pitch on the West Coast is strictly family-driven.
Haren was 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA last season. If he ends up pitching for the Marlins, he likely would join Latos, Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler in the opening day rotation, barring injuries. Ace Jose Fernandez is expected back by June or July.
If the Marlins trade Haren, then David Phelps (acquired in the Martin Prado deal with the Yankees) or Brad Hand likely would be the fifth starter to open the season.
The Marlins have not been involved in bidding for high-end free agents James Shields or Max Scherzer.