Yankees and Phillies pursuing Haren
The Yankees and Phillies, opponents in the World Series last year, are both in pursuit of Arizona right-hander Dan Haren, sources said Saturday.
The Tigers would like to upgrade their rotation but haven’t been as aggressive in their contact with the Diamondbacks, the sources indicated.
The Yankees believe they have the necessary pieces to obtain Haren, but it’s unclear if they want to use them.
There were growing indications Friday that the Yankees were the front-runners for Haren. They exchanged proposals with the Diamondbacks but did not reach agreement on players.
The Diamondbacks, one source said, asked the Yankees for a more impressive four-player package than the Mariners landed for Cliff Lee earlier this month. A key difference is that Lee is a potential free agent, while Haren is signed through 2012 with a club option for ’13.
The Arizona proposal was for right-handed setup man Joba Chamberlain, Triple-A right-hander Ivan Nova, another quality prospect and a Class A player. The D-Backs also wanted the Yankees to assume all of the remaining $33 million on Haren’s contract.
The Yankees do not want to trade Chamberlain, preferring to move prospects such as Nova and Triple-A right-hander Zach McAllister in a deal for Haren. McAllister's father, Steve, is a scouting supervisor with the Diamondbacks.
The Yankees are more interested in Haren than Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt, due to Oswalt's history of back trouble, sources say.
The Phillies are trying to upgrade their pitching staff — particularly after the recent injury to Jamie Moyer — but they don’t have the same quantity of elite prospects that they did while pursuing Roy Halladay at this time last year. Outfielder Domonic Brown is one of the best prospects in the game, but the Phillies have no plans to trade him.
It is possible that Philadelphia will trade outfielder Jayson Werth to bring the prospects — and salary relief — necessary to acquire Haren or Oswalt.
Philadelphia’s farm system is strongest at the lower levels, so the Diamondbacks may need to be patient with their return if they choose to deal with the Phillies. A number of Phillies prospects closer to the majors — right-handers Phillippe Aumont and Trevor May, outfielder Tyson Gillies — have not performed very well this season.
The Diamondbacks are said to have interest in Jonathan Singleton, a slugging first baseman at low Class A. Only 18, he has posted a .307/.416/.533 line, with 11 home runs in just 64 games. Right-hander Jarred Cosart is having a standout season for the Phillies’ high Class A affiliate but is currently on the disabled list.
The Tigers, meanwhile, have maintained interest in Haren for some time, although one source with knowledge of their thinking doubts that they will add significant payroll at the deadline. Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday night that no deal was “imminent” for his team.
At this point, sources say, the Tigers are unwilling to include one of their top three pitching prospects in an offer for Haren: Rick Porcello, Andy Oliver or Jacob Turner. As long as that remains the case, a trade for Haren is highly unlikely to occur.
The Twins and Cardinals are among the other teams bidding for Haren. One source said talks between the Diamondbacks and Twins haven’t progressed far at all.
The Tigers and Twins are on Haren’s no-trade list; the Diamondbacks would need his approval to send him to one of those teams.