A’s trade Haren to Diamondbacks

DMZ · December 14, 2007 at 9:14 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

The A’s have been in a weird situation: unable to keep reeling off division titles for $1/year, they were looking at having to rebuild. The squad this year was almost certainly not going to reach the playoffs, especially with the Angels looking so strong again. It may take over 90 wins to finish the season in the wild card race, and they’re just not 90-win good. But they don’t have a lot to rebuild on, either, and any effort should be targeted at putting the best team possible on the field when they open in their new stadium.

So they dealt Haren to the Astros, and got back… let’s see here

Oakland gives up
RHP Dan Haren
RHP Connor Robertson

and gets back
OF Carlos Gonzalez (#1)
LHP Brett Anderson (#3)
OF Aaron Cunningham (#7)
1B Chris Carter (#8)
LHP Dana Eveland
LHP Greg Smith

That number’s the Baseball America prospect rating.

I’m not the minor league talent evaluator Dave is, but it certainly looks way, way sweeter than the Tejeda deal, say, but not as good as what the Twins were rumored to be getting for Santana.


40 Responses to “A’s trade Haren to Diamondbacks”

  1. wfan99 on December 14th, 2007 9:20 pm

    Great deal by Beane. The A’s are awful so they traded in order to make a playoff push down the line. If Beane was given any payroll that team will be scary (once they get that stadium I fear they will join the Angels as AL West champs as the M’s continue to have no idea what they are doing)

  2. et_blankenship on December 14th, 2007 9:30 pm

    At least the A’s know how to crap or get off the pot. When it’s time to rebuild, they don’t mess around. Blanton & Street, c’mon down!

  3. et_blankenship on December 14th, 2007 9:30 pm

    At least the A’s know how to crap or get off the pot. When it’s time to rebuild, they don’t mess around. Blanton & Street, c’mon down!

  4. thefin190 on December 14th, 2007 9:36 pm

    “So they dealt Haren to the Astros, and got back… let’s see here”

    I am guessing you mean the Diamondbacks?

  5. _David_ on December 14th, 2007 9:47 pm

    They had Haren for 3 more years. Does this mean they’re trying to contend in 4-5 years?

  6. Sports on a Schtick on December 14th, 2007 10:08 pm

    This move strengthens the M’s chances for second place in the division.

    Beane gets back quality and quantity. That guy’s good.

  7. smb on December 14th, 2007 10:10 pm

    “This move strengthens the M’s chances for second place in the division.”

    What a scathing indictment of the AL West, huh?

  8. JSully on December 14th, 2007 10:30 pm


    Yeah, Oakland’s most likely punting until they can move to Fremont. Blanton and Street will almost certainly be moved this offseason, and maybe even Swisher if they can’t sign him to a reasonable extension. Their biggest problem has been that Beane’s voodoo black magic has failed to produce for the past few years and the cupboard down on the farm is looking barren. They would likely overpay for quality amateur players but they need to stay on Commissioner Bud’s good side until the new stadium opens.


    Yes, Beane is amazing. If only Eric Chavez hadn’t fallen off a cliff the second he signed his deal. Dude went from being a .900 OPS Gold Glover to Shea Hillenbrand with a little more pop.

  9. Thom Jimsen on December 14th, 2007 10:31 pm

    Aaron Cunningham, a South Kitsap product, projects basically to be the next Scott Podsednik.

  10. ConorGlassey on December 14th, 2007 10:46 pm

    Except for the fact that Cunningham can actually hit…

  11. _David_ on December 14th, 2007 11:05 pm

    8: The “black magic” has produced win totals over the last 3 years of 88, 93 and 76, with an unholy mess of injuries.

  12. thefin190 on December 14th, 2007 11:44 pm

    “This move strengthens the M’s chances for second place in the division.”

    For next season, and maybe the season after. But in the long run, I am pretty sure the Mariners will be cellar dwellers, or atleast in 3rd place. My hope is that once the A’s rise again and have their brand new stadium, the Mariners won’t be able to keep up with them or the Angels, or even the Rangers who seem to be rebuilding as well, and finally the Mariners will clean house from top to bottom and start over.

  13. joser on December 15th, 2007 12:10 am

    The M’s strength so far this century was that they could be richer than the A’s and smarter than the Rangers. Increasingly, neither of those will be true.

    This is a pretty good move for the Diamondbacks as well, akin to what Detroit did. Sell the farm for a shot at the postseason over the next couple of years. But they needed offense at least as much as they needed pitching (maybe more, if RJ can come back as even a shade of his former self). If they don’t make a move to get little more bat, they’re going to have to hope to exceed their pythag yet again.

    And for Haren, well, he was one of the best pitchers in the AL last year. Now he gets to move to the NL, and pitch against SF’s punchless lineup 4 or more times every year instead of twice. A Cy Young may be well within his grasp.

  14. Mike Honcho on December 15th, 2007 12:24 am

    This move strengthens the M’s chances for second place in the division.

    Woo hoo. Yippee.

  15. Teej on December 15th, 2007 1:54 am

    Blanton and Street will almost certainly be moved this offseason, and maybe even Swisher if they can’t sign him to a reasonable extension.

    Swisher signed an extension in May. He’s under contract through 2011, with a team option for 2012.

  16. Graham on December 15th, 2007 3:31 am

    Aaron Cunningham, a South Kitsap product, projects basically to be the next Scott Podsednik.


    Pods: .266/.343/.348 in the minors, vs Cunningham: .304/.378/.482

    Cunningham’s also younger for his league.

  17. msb on December 15th, 2007 9:27 am

    um. cute.

    are you just entertaining yourself, or thinking Bavasi should have convinced Beane to seal in the division?

  18. idahowriter on December 15th, 2007 10:02 am

    18 – Neither, merely lamenting that other teams are improving while we’re…

  19. rcc on December 15th, 2007 10:36 am

    I am a huge Billy Beane fan, but I just don’t know about his latest move. Why trade your all star pitcher who is under contract for three more years?

    The M’s are apparently talking about trading their top two + major league ready prospects for pitchers under contract for one(Santana) or two (Bedhard) more years. Which move would make more sense…giving up low level guys for a Haren, or trade for a Santana or Bedard?

    I hope that some of the guys who really know their minor league prospects can shed more light on this one, but I do look forward to being enlightened by others on their analysis.

  20. Mr. Egaas on December 15th, 2007 10:51 am

    We’ll have to see what he does with Blanton and Street now.

    After Chavez and Kotsay are off the books, their salary has to be pretty minimal… when they will dive back into the free agent market.

  21. msb on December 15th, 2007 11:02 am

    #19– well, you can’t do much more to get Kuroda than offer him more money and/or years than any one else, which apparently they already have done.

  22. msb on December 15th, 2007 11:06 am

    #20– FWIW, here is as good a reason as any, from the rotoworld (add your own salt granules)

    “Chad Gaudin has a torn labrum in his hip that might require surgery.If anything pushed the A’s over the edge as to the decision to rebuild, it was the lingering health concerns for players like Gaudin, Rich Harden, Eric Chavez and Mark Kotsay. Oakland’s rotation currently shapes up as Joe Blanton, Harden, Gaudin, Justin Duchscherer and Lenny DiNardo, with Dana Eveland, Dallas Braden, Dan Meyer and others possibly getting a chance to compete for one of the last two spots. However, Blanton is almost certainly a goner now and the A’s don’t know what they’ll get out of anyone else.”

  23. Drew Fuss on December 15th, 2007 11:32 am

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure the Chris Carter going to Oakland is the 1B that was acquired by the DBax this offseason. Not the homegrown Chris Carter ranked in BA’s Top 10.

  24. JSully on December 15th, 2007 11:52 am


    I’m actually a big A’s fan. By “voodoo black magic” I meant Beane’s ability to find above-average to star players in the draft when everybody else was laughing at him (Zito, Blanton…Harden was like a 17th round pick). My point was more that they have had a few weak drafts recently and that has left their minor league pipeline a little dry. That and all the injuries, which have forced them to promote guys earlier than they would have liked (Travis Buck, Donnie Murphy, etc.)

  25. manifestus on December 15th, 2007 12:53 pm

    Then again, Harden was drafted initially by the Mariners in ’99. In the 38th round. So you could make the argument that the M’s also have that “ability to find above-average to start players in the draft” — excepting the minor difference being their inability to actually hang on to those prospects and get them into the ML roster. Same goes for their ability to find players like Asdrubal Cabrera — they just don’t actually find their way to the roster.

  26. MyOhMy on December 15th, 2007 1:18 pm

    19 – I’m in agreement with you but Beane nor Bavasi seem likely to trade Haren for Jones, et al being in the division. I’m surprised that Beane didn’t get Upton out of the deal. Everyone the M’s talk with automatically want Jones and yet the D’backs get a TOR pitcher without trading their ML-ready OF’er who only had 140 AB’s last year. Jones had 65 AB’s and would’ve approached Upton if Johnny Mac would’ve actually played him.

    I would like to hear some analysis on the guys the A’s got in return. Just because they got their #1 & #3 prospects + others doesn’t mean much to me. That would be like the M’s saying Clement is the #1 prospect & Balentien is #3 if you take Jones off that list now. Maybe this will actually help the M’s deal for Bedard without giving up Jones.

    It seems like in both the Santana and Bedard situations, the GM’s are waiting to see what the market bears. Now with Haren being traded, it starts to set that market.

  27. zeke5123 on December 15th, 2007 1:30 pm

    #25 Don’t complain about Asdrubal Cabera. First off, he looked rather blocked by Jose Lopez (at the time, coming off an all star apperance). Second, while Cabera had a hot finish to his start in Cleveland beware of small sample size. His talent isn’t at that level. The only thing wrong with trading Cabera was what we got for him, not the idea of trading him.

  28. JAG on December 15th, 2007 1:59 pm

    If you consider how unbelievably bad this year’s free agent class of starting pitching is, it makes Beane’s decision look brilliant. The extremely weak free agent pitching market combined with Haren’s strong year have pushed his trade value as high as it will probably get. Beane knows that the free agent market will unlikely be as bad as it is now in the three years remaining on Haren’s contract, so the smart thing to do was to sell now. That he was able to essentially restock the cupboards with only one player is impressive.

    Also, Beane was unable to get Upton in the deal because Haren just isn’t that good. Yes, he’s a good player, but he’s not in the same class as Santana (obviously) or Bedard (arguably). His peripheral stats suggest that Haren pitched above his ability. I think this year will see him return to numbers similiar to what he posted in the 2nd half of last season. His HR/FB rate was lower (9.3 %) last year than his previous two seasons (12.5%) and his LOB% was obscenely high (75%). As we all know these aren’t sustainable trends, but ones that Haren relied on last season to keep his name in the Cy Young race. He’s a fine player, but not one that demands a number one prospect like Santana or Bedard.

  29. JJD on December 15th, 2007 3:08 pm

    #19– well, you can’t do much more to get Kuroda than offer him more money and/or years than any one else, which apparently they already have done.

    ESPN is saying he’s done to the Dodgers.

  30. MyOhMy on December 15th, 2007 3:19 pm

    All of Bavasi’s eggs were in the Kuroda basket and he just tripped and fell … I’m scared to see what Plan B is. Not that Plan A was all that great!

  31. James T on December 15th, 2007 3:22 pm

    #19. What if Beane thinks Haren is somewhat overrated right now and that he’ll never get this kind of haul for him again?

    Haren had an unusually high number of his runs allowed coming as unearned runs which didn’t show up in his ERA. He also had a dip, relative to previous years, in his rate of allowing home runs. I thought there was some general consensus that there’s a significant degree of luck in the variations of a pitcher’s HR allowed stats.

    Taking these things together, you might have a B to B plus sort of starter being perceived as an A- sort of pitcher. (those categories being arbitrary labels not any scout’s)

  32. leftfield_17 on December 15th, 2007 3:47 pm

    Espn is reporting Kuroda is going to the Dodgers.

  33. CCW on December 15th, 2007 4:09 pm

    I think it’s a great trade for both teams. Arizona was absolutely drowning in pretty good prospects that were blocked by, for the most part, even better youngsters. Now, with Haren and Webb as a solid and cheap 1-2 for several years, and an amazing array of under-25 position players that are going to be coming into their prime over the next few years, they’re poised for solid 3-4 year run. The A’s weren’t likely to be competitive before Haren became expensive and they really needed to bulk up the farm system. Also, like others have mentioned, Haren is probably not quite as good as his current reputation. Seems like a great deal between two smart organizations in different stages of the MLB success cycle.

  34. Sklyansky on December 15th, 2007 4:52 pm

    Rosenthal says his “sources” say the M’s are going to intensify their pursuit of Lohse and Silva. I hope he’s wrong about that.

    Bavasi is making it really hard to be a fan of the Mariners…a lot of us have stuck around this long, but there’s only so much people can take. If they sign Lohse to some ridiculous $10+ million a year deal, I think I’ll just stop watching or following the team until he’s fired.

  35. msb on December 15th, 2007 5:00 pm

    “Kuroda’s deal is believed to be worth between $36-40 million over the three-year term, according to the L.A. Daily News.”

    and per Hickey: “The Mariners had offered Kuroda more money, and the Kansas City Royals offered as much money on a per-year basis in addition to an extra year – a total of four years at $48 million.”

    last week there was a report that Kuroda’s manager said the Dodgers were Hiroki’s choice, because: “The Dodgers are playing their 50th year in L.A., Joe Torre is the manager and the Dodgers have a better chance of reaching the playoffs than the Mariners, who were his second choice.”

  36. heyoka on December 15th, 2007 5:03 pm

    When I first read about this deal yesterday, I plugged all the names into the baseball cube to check their stats, and this looks like a major haul for Billy Beane, and the A’s. Lots of impressive performances, only a year or two away from the bigs.

    This also gives the M’s a better chance at the wild card this year. If Oakland becomes a walk over, that means more wins for Seattle. (Still not likely, but hey…)

  37. wokster on December 15th, 2007 6:04 pm

    #36 – I can’t imagine dropping Haren will make the M’s fare any better than last year against them.

    Haren made 5 starts against the M’s last year and the A’s were 1-4 during those starts.

    Really the Wildcard is coming out of the Central or the East. We’re fighting (if you can really call it that) for the West or going home next season.

  38. _David_ on December 15th, 2007 7:03 pm

    Who here thinks Bavasi will try to trade AJ for Silva or Lohse even though they are FAs?

  39. Thom Jimsen on December 15th, 2007 9:17 pm

    Dave, what’s your read on this trade?

  40. et_blankenship on December 15th, 2007 11:49 pm

    Maybe Horacio has a brother…?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.