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Sunday, July 25, 2010
The risk involved

The upside is obvious.

If Dan Haren responds to a change of scenery and returns to his All-Star form, the Angels would have two bona fide aces atop their rotation in Haren and Jered Weaver for several years to come. They also would have a solid middle rotation with Ervin Santana and Joel Pineiro, both signed beyond this year.

The Angels don't have to look far for the risk, though. Scott Kazmir is in their clubhouse, trying to work his way back from shoulder fatigue that has him on the DL.

If Haren's struggles are reflective of a downard trend, the Angels could be on the hook for $24.75 million in salary to two unproductive pitchers next season.

One scout who has seen Haren extensively this year thinks his problems -- a 4.62 ERA and an NL-high 161 hits allowed --- are reflective of a lack of focus because he's pitching for a last-place team. Kazmir's stuff had been on the decline for several years.