Haren comes with a price tag of $15.5M but Marmol, who had to waive his no-trade clause, relieves the Cubs of $9.1M in the final year of his contract.
Haren is coming off his worst season since becoming a full-time major leaguer after he was traded from the Cardinals to the Athletics. He posted his worst ERA, FIP, xFIP, HR/9, ERA+, and groundball rate of his career while failing to reach 200 innings pitched for the first time since his first trade. He was still worth 1.8 fWAR, or roughly $8M, though.
Haren, who has been a model of consistency and durability, landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career and it resulted in Haren pitching nearly 40 fewer innings than the lowest mark of his career since becoming a full-time starter.
Haren’s velocity was also the worst of his career as it fell for the third consecutive season and below 90 mph for the first time of his career. The loss in velocity should bring no surprise that his wFB also declined for the third straight season to a near career worst -12.9 runs. Here is a graph (via Brooks Baseball) of his velocity since 2007 and the drop in velocity is clear:
Marmol, while maintaining his velocity, had his lowest swinging-strike rate since his rookie season and unintentionally walked an astounding 45 men in only 55.1 innings of work, which equates to a 7.32 BB/9 which was the second worst mark in the game (min. 50 IP) behind Jonathan Sanchez. Marmol’s WPA was the lowest mark of his career and his slider usage was his lowest mark since 2008.
Both pitchers are coming off of down years but there is a silver lining for each pitcher.
Haren maintained a low walk rate and finished third in the American League in BB/9. Haren’s loss in velocity may have been due to his back problems that sidelined him and if his back is back to normal there is a chance we see his fastball back above 90 mph. If that happens I bet we see the Haren of old who had seven straight seasons of at least 4.0 fWAR including three seasons over 6.0 fWAR.
When Haren hit the DL after his July 3rd start he was sporting a 4.86 ERA but once he returned from the DL he had a 3.58 ERA and only walked 1.72 batters per nine innings although his velocity remained about the same.
Marmol’s silver lining is that he still kept the ball in the park with a 0.65 HR/9 and is moving to a pitcher’s park with tremendous outfield talent. Marmol also maintained his velocity and his 11.71 K/9 is almost identical to his career mark. Marmol had a 5.40 ERA through his first 28.2 innings of the season and a 1.33 ERA over his final 27 innings. Marmol also saw his BB/9 drop from 9.82 to 4.67.
For an extra $4.4M the Cubs gain value in this trade while the Angels clear some payroll that will likely go towards Zack Greinke.
This is a classic “change of scenery” trade that could work out well for both teams if each pitcher’s final few months are any indication of what their new teams can expect in 2013.
*It appears as if the trade is off according to Danny Knobler via Twitter.*
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt