I've already talked about Erik Bedard, now I'll look at Dan Haren, another hotly-pursued pitcher this offseason.
Haren is a 27-year-old righty currently with the Oakland A's where he has won at least 14 games for the last 3 years. Overall, he's 49-44 in 2 years with the St. Louis Cardinals and 3 with the A's. He also has a career 3.82 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, which are solid numbers for a starting pitcher. He's appeared in the postseason twice, in 2004 and 2006. In 2004, he was used in relief where he picked up 1 win in 5 appearances with a 2.16 ERA. In 2006, he was a starter in 2 games, getting a win over Minnesota with a 4.09 ERA.
This past year is when he has really stepped up and become the staff ace. He went 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Pitching in 222.2 innings, he had 192 K's and only 55 walks. His solid numbers lead him to be the starting pitcher for the American League in the All-Star Game, where he gave up 1 run in 2 innings.
As has been the case since Billy Beane became the head man in Oakland, anyone with a potential for value will be on the trading block. They've lost players like Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen in the past via free agency because the A's refuse to offer the big bucks for anyone. Haren falls under the category of a star that will surely leave for greener pastures. I can't blame Beane for being proactive in shopping Haren based on the recent history of big names that have left the A's.
So far, I have heard that the Yankees (big shock), Diamondbacks, Indians, and Dodgers as the teams most in pursuit of him. The Diamondbacks supposedly have an offer on the table of Conor Jackson, Carlos Gonzalez, and two other players. The Yankees are not willing to part with both Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, but remain interested. The Indians kind of came out of nowhere in all of this, so who knows how serious that is.
I have not read of one specific offer for Haren, but I would imagine it's the same situation as getting Erik Bedard. The Dodgers are not willing to give up 3 or 4 top prospects for one guy, even an ace, and rightfully so. Muck like Bedard, Haren's numbers have improved from 2 years ago, as his K's have gone up, ERA has gone way down, and BAA has improved. Oh he's a stud, for sure, which is why interest will always be there.