D-Backs deal 6 prospects for Dan Haren

December 14, 2007 at 5:37 pm 6 comments

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The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired right-handed starting pitcher Dan Haren and RHP Connor Robertson from the A’s in exchange for six prospects, MLB.com has learned. The A’s will get pitchers Brett Anderson, Greg Smith and Dana Eveland along with outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Aaron Cunningham and first baseman Chris Carter.

I personally love Dan Haren. I, unlike some scouts, love him as a pitcher and think he is a true #2 starter. He bolsters this pitching staff and makes them front runners for the NL West next season. They gave up a ton of prospects but the future is now for the Diamondbacks. Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Beltran-lite, was the main piece they gave up but their OF is already set for the next 4 years. Haren will give the D-Backs over 200 innings, a sub 3.75 ERA, 15+ wins, 170-195 strikeouts against only 50-60 walks. He is an incredible pitcher and a huge upgrade over Livan Hernandez. The rotation could look a little like this:

1. Brandon Webb
2. Dan Haren
3. Doug Davis
4. Micah Owings
5. Randy Johnson (if healthy)
6. Dustin Nippert


Tony Pena – CL
Chad Qualls – RHP
Juan Cruz – RHP
Brandon Lyon – RHP
Doug Slaten – LHP

Connor Robertson is an extra. He’s a 12th man on a pitching staff or an organizational arm.

The A’s get a plethora of prospects. They got 4 of Arizona’s top 10 prospects according to BaseballAmerica.com including their #1, 3, 7, and 8.

Carlos Gonzalez is the highlight of the package, a potential 5-tool player that reminds scouts of a lite version of Carlos Beltran. He has plus raw power and a good stroke that should result in a good average. He runs well, covers a lot of ground in the outfield, and has a great arm. The only thing he lacks is what the A’s love the most, plate discipline. But that’s ok when he would be surrounded by a ton of guys who have great plate discipline and no speed.

Brett Anderson is a 19 year old lefty that has already pitched in High-A ball. He was 11-7 with a 3.07 ERA and 125/21 K/BB rate in 120.1 IP while allowing only 9 homers between two stops. Incredible numbers for anyone let alone such a young player. He projects as a #2-#3 starter. He was the key pitching piece in this deal for Oakland.

Greg Smith is another lefty with decent stuff and a good feel. He was a 23 year old in AA and AAA last year posting 9-5 record with a 3.54 ERA and a 96/32 K/BB rate in 126 IP and only 11 homers allowed. He could be a #4 or #5.

Dana Eveland was once a top prospect for the Brewers and was a key part of the Richie Sexson trade. He is still capable of being a #4 or #5 starter. He has lost his “prospect” eligibility due to time on a Major League roster but he is still only 24 and could be a good contributor to a team.

Aaron Cunningham is an athletic outfielder. He is only 21 years old and has already seen time in AA. He posted a .308/.375/.509 line with 16 homers, 31 doubles, 10 triples, 77 RBI, 101 runs, and 28 stolen bases in 493 at-bats over 3 stops. He has a good eye and good discipline with a 51/89 BB/K rate at a young age. He can play all three outfiled positions but his arm is suited more for LF or CF.

Chris Carter is a decent prospect. He has good raw power and is patient but misses a good number of pitches. He is only 21 and posted good numbers in Low-A ball with .291/.383/.522 with 25 homers, 27 doubles, 93 RBI, 84 runs, 67/112 BB/K rate in 467 at-bats. He isn’t the slickest at 1B either. He is also blocked by Daric Barton and Nick Swisher at the 1B/DH spot but Carter still has at least 2-3 years to go.

The A’s got some very good players. This deal goes down as a win-win in my book. The A;s should focus in trading Joe Blanton now and I’m sure they will get a good package seeing how he is the most attractive pitcher not named Santan or Bedard. The Diamondbacks are looking like serious contenders now and should be threats in their division for the next 3 years minimum.

More moves by the D-Backs today:

—In addition, the D-Backs will send closer Jose Valverde to the Astros in exchange for 2B/OF Chris Burke, RHP Juan Gutierrez, and reliever Chad Qualls. The Astros moved one of their excess bats for a proven closer. They desperately needed him in their pen but they still need a couple starting pitchers to get them to Valverde. Burke is a good acqusition for the D-Backs. He can get a good number of at-bats playing all around the diamond and could start if Hudson is injured or in 2008 if/when Hudson leaves via free agency. Tony Pena can step in as the closer and Qualls is a reliable reliever. Good move for both teams.

—Also, the D-Backs sent INF Alberto Callaspo to the Royals for pitcher Billy Buckner. I love this move for the Royals. Callaspo can play 2B, 3B, and even a little SS. He has great hands and incredible plate discipline and patience. He should slot right in as a utility INF and move into 2B when Mark Grudzialanek is traded or injured. Bucker is a #5 starter/reliever and wasn’t a real part of the Royals plans but could contend for the #5 rotation spot or for a bullpen spot.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Eddie  |  December 14, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    i dont like any trade up here except the alberto callaspo trade.. i think they all suck … but thats just me

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 14, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Care to explain why you dislike the trades?

  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  December 14, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Wow, Webb, Haren. 1-2. Dan Haren it totally what they are missing in the rotation. I would not cry for one second if Haren was ever sent to the Cubs. And Seriously if Randy Johnson is your fifth starter, then sign me up! Sure, they got rid of a lot of young prospects, but if you look at their team, they are full of young guys, so they might as well deal some of the guys, if the guys they have now are going to be around for quite a few years.

    I like you said he’s a true number 2 pitcher. He’s got the stuff to be an ace, but has pitched better in the second slot in the rotation. I just don’t know if Pena is ready to close. Qualls has a filthy practically unhittable slider. He closed for a while when Lidge was demoted, but didn’t to the best. Ideally, he’s a top notch setup dude.

    I like the moves personally.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 14, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    I like the way the D-Backs did this. They built from within and stacked up the best prospects and traded them to fill holes. They don’t “need” these prospects. I can see the Rays doing this when they have thier rotation and lineup set and they will trade young prospects like Jeremy Hellickson, Desmond Jennings, and others to fill holes on the roster.

  • 5. Erik  |  December 18, 2007 at 3:00 am

    I like this deal. Not only does this give the D-backs a solid rotation but it also gives Oakland aa ton of top prospects. Each were rated very high and Beane knew Blanton would never net him that much. Great deal by both.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 19, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Oakland is rebuilding and they look like they can be scary in a couple years. Imagine what they will get for Blanton. He’s better than Silva and Lohse. Then, if healthy, they can get a ton for Harden in July and possibly deal Street for someone’s top prospects. They will be loaded.


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