if you trade a decent enough prospect you can ask LA to pay part of the contract too.
You hit it in the article. Everyone expects the Angels to decline the options, so why make a move now when you could probably pick them up cheaper.
If the options are picked up, the bag of balls option won't work either. The Angels would look for semi-decent prospects in return, especially for Haren.
The theory is right though. Take a 1 year flyer and if it works, look to extend.