As the 2012 World Series kicks off on Wednesday night, we come one step closer to the free agency period.
For the New York Yankees, they have quite a few things they need to take care of this winter.
One of the most important parts of that plan is the starting rotation; something that they will be looking to improve on for the third straight off-season.
When I look at the starters on the free agent market; three come to mind of interest.
The first two are the Yankees own Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda; who I think absolutely have to get re-signed if they want any shot of competing again in 2013.
The Angels have a $15.5 team option with a $3.5 million buyout on Haren for 2013, and I think there's a very good chance that the Angels are going to decline the option considering they are going to need that money to attempt to keep Zack Greinke, as he too is a free agent.
The 32-year-old Haren is coming off a disappointing season in 2012, posting a 12-13 record with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Angels.
Despite the down season, Haren is still a pretty good pitcher and one of the top names on the market if you don't count Greinke, who I am pretty sure the Yankees have no interest in pursuing.
What I like about Haren is his control and ability to pitch to location. In 2012, despite the off year, he still only had 38 walks and had a 1.29 WHIP.
Instead, Haren was traded that same summer from Arizona to the Angels in a deal that sent Joe Saunders to the Diamondbacks.
Haren was part of a rotation including Jered Weaver, Greinke, Ervin Santana and C.J. Wilson that looked to be one of the best in baseball, but instead didn't even make the playoffs in 2012 and finished third in the A.L. West.
I think the Angels will make a significant offer to try and lock up Greinke and pair him with Weaver and Wilson as their big three atop of their rotation, which leaves Haren out.
This is where the Yankees come in.
I think Haren would be a great addition to the Yankees pitching staff, and if they do bring back Kuroda and Pettitte, having those two with CC Sabathia and Haren would make for a very good pitching staff.
Coming off the season that Haren had, I don't know if he will command $15 million per season like he could have, but anywhere from the $10-13 million range sounds reasonable.
Of course, if the Yankees do get Haren, that might mean Yankees GM Brian Cashman might have to trade either Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes, which I can see happening either way.
Plus, both Yankees top pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are nowhere near close to being ready to getting called up to the big leagues; Banuelos just had Tommy John Surgery and will be out for a full year.
To me, Haren makes a ton of sense for the Yankees.
He made sense back in 2010 after the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee, and he still makes sense for 2013.
Hopefully Cashman feels the same way as I do and feels the need to bring Haren to the Bronx.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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