Haren situation creates uncertainty

MIAMI — The Marlins have taken so many steps to create franchise and roster stability. It really is a different culture now than, say, in 2012, when the team sold its fan base sizzle — immediately saw that wasn’t working — and abruptly sold off most of the parts less than a year later.

Things are much more settled now. Manager Mike Redmond had his contract extended through 2017. Giancarlo Stanton, convinced promising pieces were in place for the foreseeable future, bought in and signed the richest contract in North American sports history — 13 years, $325 million.

The offseason has thus far been a big success, with the additions of Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, Mat Latos, Martin Prado and more. The club is even flirting with signing Ichiro Suzuki as a backup outfielder.

For all the positive momentum the team has generated, it is a bit surprising the club has gotten into a bit of a bind with Dan Haren.

It was no secret Haren’s preference was to play on the West Coast. Yet, knowing that is where Haren’s heart was, Miami still included him in the seven-player deal with the Dodgers on Dec. 10.

Now, Miami is covered financially, because the Dodgers are covering the $10 million owed to Haren. And if he retires or is traded, the Marlins still get cash considerations from L.A., believed to be $10 million.

The question that hasn’t been completely answered is why get Haren in the first place? Perhaps the team truly believed he would pitch in Miami, or it wanted the cash considerations to cover other areas of its payroll. Latos is projected to get around $8.4 million in arbitration, so the money would come in handy there.

Gordon, obviously, was the centerpiece of the deal. But Miami may have been able to land him for Andrew Heaney alone. On the same day, Heaney was spun to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick.

Miami also acquired infielder Miguel Rojas, but parted with reliever Chris Hatcher, infielder Enrique Hernandez and catching prospect Austin Barnes.

Until the Haren impasse is resolved, we don’t know exactly what the return will be for Miami. What it has created is some confusing uncertainty.

Joe Frisaro

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