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MLB trade rumor: Dan Haren mentioned as possible Royals target

Los Angeles Angels' starter Dan Haren has been linked as a possible trade target for the Kansas City Royals.

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

The Kansas City Royals are in desperate need of quality starting pitching for next season. It should come as no surprise that the Royals would be linked to one of the more high-profile pitchers currently on the trade market: Angels' right-handed starter Dan Haren.

The Angels currently hold one-year options for Haren and fellow starting pitcher Ervin Santana. Los Angeles needs to decide by Wednesday whether they will accept or decline the options on the two starting pitchers, and they would like to move both pitchers before that deadline.

Haren and Santana both had disappointing seasons last year. Haren went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA as he battled back injuries for most of the season. Santana's season was even worse, as the starter went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA. Both pitchers struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark, while Santana posted his highest walk rate since 2007.

The Royals would have to expect bounce-back season's from either pitcher to make a trade worthwhile. Even a struggling Dan Haren, however, would have been one of the Royals' best pitchers last season.

A possible Dan Haren trade has been kicked around the various Royals blogs, including SB Nation's own Royals Review, with various opinions on whether the team should or should not acquire the 32-year-old starter. Haren is likely one of many options the Royals will explore this season in an effort to improve the pitching rotation.