A's willing to deal Haren
Johan Santana has company on the trade market. According to league sources, the A's, within the past couple days, have begun calling teams to seek interest in star pitcher Dan Haren, one of the better right-handers in the American League.
One difference between Santana and Haren: The Twins are under pressure to deal Santana as he has a year to go before free agency, while the A's have Haren under a team-friendly contract that will pay him $16.25 million through 2010 assuming his $6.75 million option for 2010 is exercised.
The A's are thought to be seeking from the Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury -- who's currently the sticking point in Boston's bid for Santana -- plus either of two top young pitchers, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.
The A's also will consider offers for their other top pitchers, including Joe Blanton and Rich Harden.
Oakland is believed to have its sights on one or more of the Yankees' three top young pitchers -- Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. From the Mets, among those expected to interest Oakland include pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Mulvey and outfielders Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez.
The Red Sox offered a package to the Twins including Lester and center fielder Coco Crisp, but Minnesota has been asking that Ellsbury be part of a deal for Santana. While the Twins inquired about Crisp weeks ago in anticipation of losing Torii Hunter, they appear to be focused on Ellsbury in talks so far.
The Yankees appear willing to form a package for Santana that includes Kennedy and young center fielder Melky Cabrera, but they've been resistant to date to substitute Hughes for Cabrera. While the Yankees have made Chamberlain untouchable, the Twins may be holding out at least for Hughes, the second-rated young Yankees pitcher.