Marlins send Haren to Cubs in return for two minor-league prospects

BY foxsports • July 31, 2015

MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins pulled off their second trade in as many days Friday, sending veteran right-hander Dan Haren to the Chicago Cubs for minor-league shortstop Elliot Soto and right-hander Ivan Pineyro.

Haren, who will be a free agent this winter, went 7-7 with a 3.42 ERA in a team-high 21 starts in 2015. He is one win shy of 150 over his 13 big-league seasons.

The 34-year-old righty took the loss in Thursday's 1-0 defeat to the Washington Nationals, his lone blemish a solo shot to Ryan Zimmerman in the second inning. His 21 homers allowed rank eighth in baseball.

According to Stats LLC, Haren is one of seven current pitchers to own an active streak of 10 or more consecutive seasons with double-digit wins. Since 2005, he has been one of the more reliable arms, with the most starts (350) and innings (2242 2/3).

Miami acquired him over the offseason along with Dee Gordon from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who also agreed to pay Haren's $10 million contract.

"As an organization, we certainly want to wish Dan the best," manager Dan Jennings said. "Having an opportunity to be around him as his manager and just watch the way he interacts with the other teammates and his mentorship of the young pitchers and basically what he's done and what he's given us everything fifth day. He's the ultimate pro and you hope for nothing but the best for him."

Soto, a 15th-round pick in 2010 out of Creighton University, was hitting .275 with 10 doubles, a triple and 18 RBI in 88 games with Double-A Tennessee. He had the best fielding percentage and ranked third in walks in the Double-A level with hits in 21 of his last 24 games.

Over parts of six minor-league seasons, the 25-year-old has a .252 average, 62 doubles, seven triples, three homers and 132 RBI. He was demoted from Triple-A Iowa to Tennessee for 2015. Primarily a defensive-minded shortstop, he can also play second and third.

Pineyro, a 23-year-old Dominican, is 23-23 with a 3.67 ERA in 85 minor-league starts since 2011. He was in the Nationals organization before a trade in 2013. In 2015, he went 7-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 19 starts with Double-A Tennessee. His fastball sits between 90-93 mph.

"Starting pitcher had a very good year at Double-A," Hill said. "We gave up a lot of good talent to acquire Mat Latos, to acquire Dan Haren. So in the process of trading them we tried to recoup some of the talent that went out of the door."

On Thursday, the Marlins sent Latos and Opening Day first baseman Michael Morse to the Dodgers for a trio of minor-league right-handers and cash considerations. Though Morse is signed through 2016, both Haren and Latos are soon-to-be free agents.

All three arrived in South Florida over the winter amid playoff aspirations. Instead, the Marlins hold the second-worst record in baseball at 42-60.

"When we put this together and coming through spring training, there's no way you'd think we'd be this far back," Jennings said. "It's just too good a talented team. You can look at underperforming, you can look at injuries. There's a lot of things to point to. It's baseball. There's enough blame to go around. There's still enough time left in this season to play with pride and some positive signs that lead us into 2016. Is there one thing to blame? No, but at the same time it is disappointing because from a pure talent standpoint I don't think this team performed to its level of capabilities for many reasons.

"You can go back and look at the Toronto trade of 2012 at the end of that season and look at what some of those minor-league guys became. But at the same time, when you have guys that are on the final year of their contract, it's baseball. You have to know that those guys are going to be moved and you hope the pieces you bring back along with the opportunities that you're going to give other pieces in your organization that promotes growth in those players and they can speed up their clock at this level."

As the deadline passed, the Marlins held onto their core players they still believe in. That includes All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon, Gold Glover Christian Yelich, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, rookie catcher JT Realmuto and ace Jose Fernandez. They also added to the farm system that lost key pieces over the offseason.

"This time of year when you're underperforming as a club and you're 18 games under .500, you get a lot of people who come for your players because they're trying to add to their playoff push," Hill said. "From our standpoint we still very much believe in our core and we want to keep that core intact and we want to continue to build. We have a lot of young, talented players here and we still have two months to play in this season and there is still a lot to be accomplished with this club in terms of building towards what we eventually hope will be championship-caliber baseball.

"I think that's really what we've had to come to grips with as the season turned south and it became apparent that we weren't going to be competing to be a playoff team, that you trade your free-agent pieces and you look at the makeup of your club and you see where things went wrong. I think that's the process that we've examined internally, and now you look to put things back together and build with what we still believe is a talented core."

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.



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