New Miami hurler Haren affirms commitment to Marlins
After talk of West Coast preference, potential retirement, veteran clears air at camp
JUPITER, Fla. -- Before throwing as much as a warmup pitch on Friday, Dan Haren cleared the air about the circumstances leading up to him joining the Marlins.
Haren was acquired from the Dodgers at the Winter Meetings in December as part of the Dee Gordon trade, but the 34-year-old took about a month to decide if he would either retire or join his new club. During that span, the right-hander also expressed his preference to pitch on the West Coast.
On the first day of Spring Training, Haren informed manager Mike Redmond and the media that he is committed to the Marlins.
"I think a lot of things were probably overblown," he said. "I never really said anything directly to anyone in the media at all. A lot of it was just reports. I'm here. I'm happy to be here. I had a good talk with Mike Redmond early this morning. I'm ready to get going."
Miami is counting on Haren to be a major part of its rotation. The veteran has been reliable and durable, making at least 30 starts in each of the last 10 seasons.
"We talked for a long time," Redmond said. "He's in. He's 100 percent in. His focus is on helping us win. As far as I'm concerned, we're moving on from that. He explained to me what happened. I'm 100 percent convinced that he is on board and ready to help us win ballgames."
A California native, Haren arrived in South Florida on Thursday, and he will be entering his 13th big league season. He was 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 32 starts with Los Angeles last year.
Haren had offseason surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in October. He told reporters he wouldn't have had the procedure if he didn't intend to pitch in 2015.
Still, he wanted to make sure he and his family were at peace with joining the Marlins.
"I just wanted to make sure all was good with my family and make sure I was 100 percent committed," he said. "There was not that much communication with us and the Marlins after the trade. They gave me my space and gave me time. There were a lot of times I wanted to say stuff directly to them, but for one reason or another it never happened. So it kind of [dragged] out a little longer than I would have liked."