Rosenthal cites that money was the main reason the two teams could not strike a deal. Haren is still due more than $1.5 million this season, and apparently Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman was not comfortable taking on that amount of money for what would be just three or four starts from the soon-to-be 33-year-old.
If the Yankees had been able to acquire Haren, he would not have been eligible for the postseason roster. Players acquired after September 1 are ineligible for the playoffs, so this deal would have been one to increase the team's chances of getting there.
Haren has been up and down in 2013. He owns a 9-13 record and a 5.02 ERA, but that's not necessarily indicative of his recent performance. He was 4-3 over July and August with a 3.41 ERA over 59.2 innings. During that span, he was crucial in keeping the Nationals afloat in both the National League East and NL Wild Card standings.
He's come back down to Earth since, posting a 5.00 ERA in September over nine innings pitched.
The problem with Haren is that he allows entirely too many home runs—26 of them, to be exact. That number is tops in the National League. Haren is no longer able to blow his fastball by hitters, and he's still having some trouble learning how to rely on his command over his stuff. Leaving fastballs in the middle of the zone has killed him in 2013.
Allowing home runs is the same problem that Phil Hughes has had this season. He's allowed 23 big flies, and his time in the Yankees rotation has been questioned as a result. He did start the game on Thursday evening against the Baltimore Orioles, but manager Joe Girardi left him in for only three innings before he had a chance to do damage.
Haren would have replaced Hughes in the rotation and would have bumped David Huff to a spot in the bullpen. He had been filling in for Hughes, but a spot in the bullpen makes much more sense given his stuff and Boone Logan's injury. Girardi will need a lefty out of the pen for the rest of the year.
Acquiring Haren could have gone either way for the Yankees. He may have pitched well in the thick of a playoff hunt in the American League East, but he also may have imploded and continued his less than stellar September performance.
We'll never know, though, as the money simply was too much for Cashman to take on—especially for a pitcher that would not have helped them beyond September.