Door remains open for Haren to join Miami

MIAMI — Don’t close the door on Dan Haren pitching for the Marlins just yet.

I’m hearing rumblings that Miami hasn’t given up hope the 34-year-old will have a change of heart and ultimately report to Spring Training with the rest of the pitchers and catchers on Feb. 20.

Perhaps with Spring Training 41 days away, Haren is open to pitching for the team that acquired him from the Dodgers on Dec. 10.

During the holidays, Haren informed the Marlins that his preference remained to pitch close to home on the West Coast. He also told the team he wanted to go through Spring Training in Arizona.

With a limited trade market, the Marlins have explored their options. The Giants and Padres are considered two possibilities.

Haren is doing his part, preparing himself for Spring Training somewhere. That place may end up being with Miami at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

If Haren is indeed having a change of heart, it would be an ideal situation for the Marlins. Bottom line is Miami wants a veteran pitcher, and Haren is an ideal candidate.

If he is dealt, the Marlins would likely seek other options, like signing free agent James Shields. But “Big Game” James is a costly alternative because reportedly he is seeking a deal in the five-year, $100 million range.

The Marlins have no intention of meeting those demands.

Haren, acquired from the Dodgers on Dec. 10 as part of the Dee Gordon trade, fits what Miami is seeking — a proven veteran who adds depth to an already strong rotation.

The Marlins would certainly welcome the chance to go into Spring Training with a rotation of Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Jarred Cosart, Dan Haren and either Tom Koehler or Brad Hand.

The rotation also will get a huge boost midseason when Jose Fernandez completes his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Another plus to having Haren is, if he reports, his $10 million salary would be picked up by Los Angeles. There are a lot of positives to having Haren say yes to Miami.

Joe Frisaro

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