Los Angeles Angels: Why They Should Deal Dan Haren Instead of Jered Weaver

Nathan TannerContributor IIIJune 21, 2011

Los Angeles Angels: Why They Should Deal Dan Haren Instead of Jered Weaver

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    The Angels have some serious decisions to make regarding the future of Dan Haren and Jered Weaver.

    The time is not too distant when the Angels will need to extend the contracts of Weaver and Haren or look to deal one of them.

    Will they be willing to pay the kind of money it will take to give both a contract extension? Or will they only offer an extension to one of them?

    I previously wrote an article that gave five trade scenarios for Haren. While that article focused on how they should go about replacing Haren, this piece discusses why they should trade him instead of Weaver.

    Ultimately, I think the Angels would be foolish to not hold onto both aces. But if they do decide to keep only one of them, Weaver should definitely be their guy. 

    Here are five reasons why the Angels should deal Haren instead of Weaver.

5. Weaver Is the Face of the Franchise and a Fan Favorite

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    The Angels are in a precarious position right now. They haven’t decided if they are built for the future or built for today.

    On one side, they have a lot of old veterans who are overpaid and aren’t producing. On the other side, they have several young, talented players who have shown a lot of potential but haven’t contributed on a daily basis.

    What player can draw fans to the stadium?

    Jered Weaver. He is a phenomenal pitcher, an Orange County native and is beloved by the Angels fanbase.

    Weaver is the face of the franchise and needs to stay in Anaheim.

4. Trading Weaver Would Disrupt Team Chemistry

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    Team chemistry is incredibly important in Major League Baseball.

    Fans can tell when a group of players enjoy playing together and when things are just not clicking. The 162-game season lasts a very long time. The more you like your teammates, the easier it will be to make it through the six-month grind.

    Although the Angels may not have one of the most impressive teams this season, they have a very strong clubhouse.

    Weaver is not only one of the longest-tenured Angel, but he is a key contributor to team camaraderie. If the Angels were to trade him or let him go as a free agent, his loss would be felt dramatically.

    Haren is a fairly quiet guy who has been with the team less than a year. While his arm has helped the team stay competitive, he’s had little impact on the clubhouse.

3. Haren Is Older

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    When given the choice between two talented players, you always choose the younger guy.

    The Lakers were faced with a similar decision back in 2004. Shaq and Kobe were feuding and it became obvious that they could not coexist.

    What did the Lakers do?

    They shipped Shaq, the older guy, out of town and ultimately gave Kobe a max contract. While many chastised management initially, the decision to keep Kobe over Shaq ultimately proved to be wise.

    There doesn’t appear to be any friction between Weaver and Haren, but monetary concerns may force the Angels' hand.

    The two are separated by only a few years, but the Halos should follow the Lakers’ lead and keep the younger guy.

2. Weaver Is Still Improving

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    Weaver is not only younger, but he’s also still improving.

    Since coming into the league in 2006, Weaver has developed his game and added new pitches to his arsenal.

    His impressive numbers speak for themselves:

      2008 2009 2010 2011
    ERA 4.33 3.75 3.01 2.01
    WHIP 1.28 1.24 1.07 0.92

    Weaver’s WHIP and ERA have both steadily improved from 2008 to present. He is clearly getting better as time goes on.

    At age 30, Haren has already reached his full potential. While he is a great pitcher, his performance has remained the same since 2007.

1. Weaver Is Better Right Now

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    Weaver not only has more upside in the future, but he’s the better pitcher right now.

    While Haren’s 2011 campaign has been remarkable, it pales in comparison to Weaver’s.

    Haren may have less walks this year, but Weaver ranks better in every other statistical category: complete games, shutouts, hits allowed, home runs allowed, strikeouts, wins, opponents batting average, WHIP and ERA.

    Weaver is just better. Period.

    If the Angels are forced to choose between Weaver and Haren, which would be painful for all Halos fans, the decision is clear.

    Weaver is their guy.