MILWAUKEE – Almost three years later, newly acquired Dan Haren doesn’t seem to care why the Cubs backed out of the deal the first time they traded for him.
“I never really revisited that,” the veteran right-hander said of the Carlos Marmol-for-Haren deal the Cubs struck with the Angels soon after the 2012 season — before the Cubs nixed the deal over concerns with his back and hip after reviewing his medical records.
“I’ve had some issues but nothing’s kept me off the field,” said Haren, 34, who has made 83 starts with a 4.09 ERA in 2 2/3 seasons since then – leading up to Friday’s deadline trade from the Marlins. “I’ve always taken pride in making all my starts. I’ve made a lot of starts for a lot of years in a row, so I’ve had a knack throughout my career for pitching every five days no matter what.
“I’m here for two months and I plan on making all my starts. I’ll make the most of the time here for sure.”
Those 11 starts figure to be huge for the Cubs, who have struggled filling the back end of their rotation all season. The first one comes Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
They might be just as big personally for Haren, who is leaning toward retirement after this season. He has been in the postseason twice in his career (2004, 2006), pitching in one World Series, on the losing end with the Cardinals in ’04.
“Right now the chances are that this will probably be it,” said Haren (7-7, 3.42). “I don’t want to say this is it, and then pull a Brett Favre or something. That’s why I say probably.
“But I definitely want to make a push to get where this team really wants to go.”
Haren doesn’t throw especially hard anymore, and he doesn’t hide the fact, with a Twitter hand of “ithrow88.”
“But he can pitch, man,” said former Diamondbacks teammate Miguel Montero, raving about Haren’s mix of speeds and location.
“And we add another bat to the lineup when he pitches, because he can hit,” Montero said.
Whatever Haren has left in the tank, he figures to be recharged and invigorated by the mere departure from Miami’s dysfunctional team culture and lost team morale.
“It was a rough situation,” he said of a Marlins team that fired its manager and installed the general manager (Dan Jennings) as a manager-GM. “It definitely wasn’t what we all had planned. And I feel bad for a lot of the players there, especially the older players, because you go into the year with so much expectation, and the last few days they just blew up the team.
“I’m definitely happy to be here.”