...but Dan Haren himself reports that is unlikely.
In an email to ESPNLosAngeles.com, Haren made his pitch to the Angels, insisting that his one-year, $15.5 million option was a low risk for the Halos, and saying playing for his hometown team was a "dream come true."
But he also said that he "loved [his] time with the Angels."
Note the past tense.
Haren believes that he will be dealt by tonight.
The Angels have to choose today whether they will trade Haren, pick up his option or decline the option and let him walk away for nothing. The last is the least likely, and Haren believes he will be traded away.
The likeliest option seems to be that the Angels will deal Haren elsewhere and pay a portion of his salary.
Here's why we all think that:
Haren's situation is contractually similar to that of Ervin Santana, whom the Angels dealt to Kansas City on Wednesday. Santana was dealt for left-handed reliever Brandon Sisk, and the Angels will pay some part of Santana's $13 million option.
The Angels are expected to put their focus, and their budget, on signing free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke, which is certainly a reasonable order for their priorities. Despite some slight blips on his career radar, in a thin year for free-agent pitchers, Greinke will command the full price of a true staff ace.
Teams should be lining up for the workhorse, Haren, who had thrown 200 innings for seven consecutive years before being sidelined this year with a back injury.
Reported suitors for Haren's services include the Red Sox (according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo via Twitter.) and the Cubs (according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.) Chicago won't be a contender for anything in 2013, but nabbing Haren now could pay off handsomely for the Cubbies come the 2013 trade deadline.
Regardless of how this shakes out, it should also be noted that this is not the usual sort of contract dispute.
We spend a lot of time breathlessly covering (and criticizing) disgruntled players demanding a trade and/or a new long-term deal, and it is only fair to turn around and appreciate a player who has delivered on his end of the deal, and is now simply saying, "I want to play where I signed to play, and play for the money I am scheduled to be paid."
Good luck, Dan Haren.