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MLB Rumors: Dan Haren To The New York Mets

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No sooner do I go looking for Dan Haren rumors, then the New York media obliges.  Unlike the Johan Santana rumors, the ones surrounding Haren focus on the Mets and not the Yankees.

David Lemon of Newsday writes the Mets will seek starting rotation help out West in the form of Danny Haren or Joe Blanton.  Given the Mets tried to get Blanton last year for a package of Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman, this seems logical.  While the price may be somewhat higher as each has logged more service time, this seems like a good fit.  Expect Haren's price tag to be higher than Blanton's, and Blanton may require more than Milledge and Heilman.

Ben Shpigel of the New York Times focuses on Haren and simply states why:

What could make Haren even more attractive is his affordability. Over the next two seasons, he is owed a combined $9.5 million, less than half what Santana projects to make annually when he signs his next contract. In 2010, Haren would be a downright bargain with a $6.75 million team option.

Combine this 75% discount on the going rate of #1 starters, and every team wants him.  Add this to A's GM Billy Beane's belief that teams are either play-off contenders or rebuilding  with nothing in between, and you have the genesis of why Haren (and Blanton) are available.

If Beane can get what either Miguel Cabrera or Johan Santana are purported to fetch, then he should deal him.  After all, he'd have gotten a younger and cheaper starting pitching with ace potential, one or two cheap major league players and a top prospect from the highest levels of the minor leagues.

Shpigel mentions Dontrelle Willis of Florida as a fallback option via trade (and a good one if Lastings Milledge is acceptable to Florida) or Livan Hernandez via free agency.

Finally, reports from WFAN in New York have the Mets offering Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey for Haren and Kiko Calero.  As an opening offer, it seems OK, but I suspect the Mets are not getting a bullpen arm in the deal without the addition of either Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber or Lastings Milledge.  The Mets offer just seems to be too little on their side and too much from the A's.