Should the Orioles have interest in Dan Haren? (plus Zach Clark quotes)

There have been no reports linking the Orioles to Angels pitcher Dan Haren, but there have been plenty of reports indicating the Angels are actively trying to trade Haren this week.

The Angels must decide by midnight Eastern time Friday whether to pick up his $15.5 million option for next season or deal him before that. The acquiring team would have to take on that option and/or negotiate a new deal with Haren.

From 2005-2011, Haren posted a 3.49 ERA and pitched an average of 226 innings. But last year, the 32-year-old right-hander went 12-13 with a career high 4.33 ERA and he had some lower back issues. Haren allowed 9.7 hits per nine innings in 2012 but he did post an ERA of 3.58 in 13 starts after the All-Star break.

This FanGraphs PITCHfx chart shows that Haren’s velocity dropped from 90.5 mph in 2010 to 89.8 the next season and to 88.5 mph last year.

Would some of those factors be enough to scare off a team like the Orioles from trading for him? My guess is the price tag, the injury issues from 2012 and some questions about that fastball velocity dropping is enough for the Orioles to pass on Haren.

There are stories here and here about Haren and Ervin Santana possibly being dealt by the Angels this week.

One last note on the Gold Glove awards. J.J Hardy’s .992 fielding percentage led all American League shortstops and was the highest by an AL shortstop since the Orioles’ Mike Bordick had a .998 percentage in 2002. Hardy’s 529 assists were the most by an American League shortstop since Cal Ripken Jr. had 531 for the 1989 Orioles.

Bordick did not win the Gold Glove in 2002; Alex Rodriguez was the shortstop winner that year. In 1990, Ripken made just three errors all year and had a .996 fielding percentage, yet Ozzie Guillen won the Gold Glove that year. It’s not an exact science.

Meanwhile, do you think the Orioles should try to acquire Haren?

Zach Clark added to 40-man: This was quite a day for right-hander Zach Clark. Signed by the Birds in 2006 out of UMBC as a non-drafted player and, after throwing 758 career minor league innings, Clark was added this afternoon to the Orioles’ 40-man roster.

After going 10-9 with an ERA of 5.00 in 2011 at Double-A Bowie, , Clark went 15-7 with an ERA of 2.79 over 167 2/3 innings this season between Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

“Man, I don’t know, that’s what I’ve been working for,” Clark said of his reaction to today’s news. “That’s kind of the first step, you know. When I signed, when (scout) Dean (Albany) gave me a chance and signed me, the goal was to get to the big leagues and this was the first step in getting there. I’m pretty excited.

“People always say getting to the big leagues is easy, that staying there is the hard part. I think it’s hard to get to where I am right now. It’s not easy to get on the 40-man at all.”

Clark’s velocity increased some this year and that was one reason for his solid season. In the morning, I’ll have more on Clark and his addition to the Orioles’ 40-man roster.

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