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  1. mlbtraderumors has Tyler Skaggs as the PTBNL.

    Comment by Schu — July 26, 2010 @ 12:13 am

  2. Why can’t we just assume the PTBNL is Skaggs? Isn’t it obvious at this point? What other talented LHP (DiPoto referenced the PTBNL as a LHP) do the Angels have that was signed in the last 364 days?

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  3. I thought it was obvious that Dan Haren was worth more than Joe Saunders and some middling prospects, but apparently you can never tell with this guy.

    Comment by Sixto Lezcano — July 26, 2010 @ 12:22 am

  4. I don’t like the deal, but I do think Corbin and especially Skaggs are getting significantly underrated. Corbin’s number’s have taken a big step forward since he moved up to the more hitter friendly CAL and Skaggs is a pitcher fresh out of high school with good stuff posting good numbers in the MWL. He’s a probable top 100 prospect.

    Remember when Dave was saying that teams were nowhere near as interested in Haren as people thought, and everyone seemed to disagree? Yeah, maybe most teams just don’t think of highly as him as we do. I don’t know.

    This also has nothing to do with actually discussing the PTBNL despite the fact that everyone already knows who it is. Dipoto may as well have yelled it out when he said “particularly Corbin, and the player to be named, give us extreme prospect depth, at a position, left-handed pitcher, that anybody would covet.”

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  5. And now we have confirmation.

    http://twitter.com/nickpiecoro/status/19531493509

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 12:48 am

  6. There’s no confirmation there. All Piecoro tweets is that he was ‘told’… By who, the random dudes he’s following on twitter? I’m really getting sick of unnamed sources in mlb journalism. Was he one of the ones saying Haren to Yankees was a done deal last week?

    Comment by mattmaison — July 26, 2010 @ 12:57 am

  7. This post has been updated to reflect the addition of Tyler Skaggs.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — July 26, 2010 @ 1:18 am

  8. I wonder if there is concern over Haren’s health? I can’t imagine that no other GM could beat that offer if they thought Haren was going to be healthy over the next 3 years.

    Comment by Franco — July 26, 2010 @ 1:23 am

  9. I think the money guaranteed to Haren over the next 2 years was a bigger issue than we realize. Thats the only way to explain this deal…

    Comment by DonCoburleone — July 26, 2010 @ 1:48 am

  10. Lefty with room to grow is also another way of saying a lefty who NEEDS to grow. Not saying all of these guys will fail, but wouldn’t you expect to get at least one pitcher with a bit higher current baseline and less of a room to grow projection?

    I guess that’s kind of Skaggs, but it seems like one maybe, one definitely not (Rodriguez) and one probably not (Corbin) is not the best offer they could have got, unless they place significant value on Saunders.

    Comment by hank — July 26, 2010 @ 2:39 am

  11. Even that doesn’t make sense for the Snakes though, because Saunders is going to make at least half of Haren’s salary when he hits arbitration this Winter, which makes him a nontender candidate after next season. I just can’t fathom why Arizona made this deal.

    Comment by Brandon — July 26, 2010 @ 3:03 am

  12. As a Cardinals fan, I’m kind of wondering why we’re still sniffing around Roy Oswalt, with the Astros presumably keen on Texan top-50 prospect Shelby Miller in return, when, looking at this deal, we could’ve got the younger, cheaper, better Haren straight up for Miller plus spare parts.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 26, 2010 @ 5:49 am

  13. I realize someone has to make an argument for the other side here just to cover all the bases, but this deal is an abortion any way you look at it.

    Comment by Mike — July 26, 2010 @ 6:35 am

  14. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t need Miller. They might even take Lohse.

    Comment by Marxkip — July 26, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  15. Nice deal for the Angels, but Dave had an article the other day about the Angels abysmal outfield fielding. Upton, Young and Parra are having a pretty good year glove-wise. The switch to the AL and porous outfield D may balance out, somewhat, the better bullpen/luck/run support. Doesn’t change the overall deals benefits to the Angels, but I can see Haren struggling a tad at first. Then again, getting to face the Mariners and A’s line-ups a lot may give him a boost. Wish the Mets could have pulled this off, but they aren’t exactly flush with lefty starter prospects right now.

    Comment by wobatus — July 26, 2010 @ 7:53 am

  16. There is no situation at FG where “someone has to make an argument for the other side…”, and I stated in the article that I don’t think this was enough for Haren. But, still, I don’t think it’s far to come down so hard on Arizona quite yet. For a couple reasons:

    1) We don’t know what was offered by other teams. This is actually the biggest point of all.

    2) Like the draft, the acquired players are unproven commodities. There’s a pretty decent chance that the Arizona scouts are seeing Skaggs and Corbin as far better prospects than the Internet consensus (which probably is B+/B for Skaggs and B for Corbin).

    If they are right, this trade looks completely different, and I bet all the people that lambasted this trade will keep quiet. So, my take is that I’m cautiously critical of Arizona.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — July 26, 2010 @ 9:54 am

  17. As others have mentioned, I don’t think you can discount the salary. I expect Haren to improve, but right now, he is way under-performing his 2011 salary. His 2nd half ERA in 2009 was 4.62 with 15 HRs in 99.1 IPs. His 2010 stats reflect almost identical numbers. That’s two full halves of mediocrity.

    And he has $29M coming over two years, including the buyout. Using imputed calculations, how much will he have to improve in order to be worth $29M, without even considering the prospects?

    Comment by Joey B — July 26, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  18. “here’s a pretty decent chance that the Arizona scouts are seeing Skaggs and Corbin as far better prospects than the Internet consensus”

    This is an incredibly lame excuse and can be used as justification for ANY trade made.

    Comment by Renegade — July 26, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  19. It was already pretty obvious it was Skaggs. The local beat writer confirming it was just the icing on the cake.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  20. Yes, we should clearly ignore the fact that teams have their own scouts and tend to listen to them over people on the internet. It should never even be spoken of.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  21. Last year, Haren had that streak of ~20 starts allowing 3 runs or less in the first half … and then he just collpased (or regressed if you prefere, his ERA in the 2nd half was 4.26. I know, I know, I just said ERA … use whatever metric you want, they’re all much worse in the second half).

    So, in the last year (’09 second half + ’10 1st half), Haren’s line and rates are …

    GS 34
    IP 229.1
    H 250
    ER 114
    HR 34
    BB 48
    SO 219
    ERA 4.47 3.71 (Career)
    FIP 3.85 3.69 (Career)
    WHIP 1.30 1.20 (Career)
    HR/9 1.33 1.07 (Career)
    K/9 8.59 7.74 (Career)
    BB/9 1.88 1.97 (Career)
    K/BB 4.56 3.93 (Career)

    Haren’s control has improved, and is his calling card. But, what has happened in th elast calender year is Haren has been getting hit hard, giving up a lot of H and HR’s.

    His FIP is higher, and his ERA a lot higher. I would say striking out more and wlaking less is balanced out by giving more HRs in FIP. Obviously the more HRs and hits are killing his ERA.

    I don;t think the trade is fair, but the Haren from the last calender year does have some red flags. I think there could be serious injury and/or fatigue concerns about Haren.

    As a Cradinals fan, I love the guy, he is literally “the one that goit away”, but he;’s also been THE workhorse for his teams and 6 straight 200+ IP seasons (including 2010) is a lot, and there might be a concern.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  22. See I’m not so sure about that. I could easily see the Dbacks valuing Corbin and Skaggs, when taken together, significantly higher than Miller. We may not agree with that assessment, but if that’s how the Dbacks felt, it likely would have taken a good bit more for the Cards to get Haren, at which point it likely wouldn’t have been worth it.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  23. But with trades like this, prospects-for-veteran, I don’t think we can immediately grade the trade, especially from the perspective of the team adding prospects. Scouting departments should be held accountable in the long run, but so too should be people that write off trades with knowing a fraction of what the team that made it does.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — July 26, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  24. Better Format:

    GS — 34
    IP — 229.1
    H — 250
    ER — 114
    HR — 34
    BB — 48
    SO — 219
    ERA — 4.47 3.71 (Career)
    FIP — 3.85 3.69 (Career)
    WHIP — 1.30 1.20 (Career)
    HR/9 — 1.33 1.07 (Career)
    K/9 — 8.59 7.74 (Career)
    BB/9 — 1.88 1.97 (Career)
    K/BB — 4.56 3.93 (Career)

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  25. During Sportscenter on ESPN this morning, ESPN used WAR to discuss Haren’s value and directly cited Fangraphs.

    Comment by LMack — July 26, 2010 @ 11:36 am

  26. You might be right, especially given their apparent desire for left-handed pitching (which we have effectively none of in the minors). Still, I don’t think it would take much more than Miller to equal this haul in value, and certainly no more than a couple of C/B- prospects. I mentioned to someone else something like Miller, Deryk Hooker (21 year-old in A ball who has a 4:1 K:BB ratio this year and a sub-3 FIP) and maybe Blake Hawksworth (Saunders equivalent) being at least as valuable as this haul, maybe a bit more. I’m sure we could’ve got something done, but maybe John Mozeliak just doesn’t really value Haren that highly.

    Looks like the Cardinals are cooling off on Oswalt, too, because of excessive Astros demands. Typical of the poor way that both franchises are run that the guy who really NEEDS to be traded (Oswalt) looks like he’s staying on a sinking ship, whilst a guy who could’ve been retained (D’Backs might be able to compete if they get a bit lucky next year, and Haren will still have trade value next year in any case) is traded for a mediocre package.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 26, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  27. Haren is struggling badly with HR this year, and is moving out of one of the toughest launching pads in the NL into a park that suppresses power. Wouldn’t surprise me if his performance improves over the rest of the year.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 26, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  28. The biggest head-scratcher, though, is that it didn’t really (up to a point) MATTER what other teams were offering, because Haren would still be a tradeable commodity next year. In one way, they’re even selling LOW because of his HR, BABIP and LOB% struggles this year. Next year he’ll still be a 30-year-old ace with a couple of reasonably inexpensive years under team control. It’s hard to see exactly why the D’Backs simply HAD to trade him this year, before the deadline, for whatever was the best package available.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — July 26, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  29. While we may see a package built around Miller and a few C+/B- arms as being similar in value, I actually really doubt that Dipoto and the Dbacks felt the same way. Getting 2 guys that they think very highly of (probably not far behind Miller in their minds) is a lot more appealing than just 1 guy.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  30. If they don’t expect him to rebound or they think he may be injured, this would be the last chance in their minds that they could move him without eating some of the salary. Until he turns things around, his value would continue to plummet. If he goes down with an injury, they’d be screwed. Apparently it was a risk that wasn’t worth taking in their minds.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  31. I refuse to believe it…

    Comment by DonCoburleone — July 26, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  32. They have also been referring to WPA.

    I don’t remember the player, but they were referring to WAR a week ago. I grabbed my iphone to take a picture of the screen, but just missed it.

    Nessie just dipped under the water.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  33. So, two lefties who can’t get lefties out, a generic bullpen arm and a major-league innings eater. What more could you ask for one of the top SPs in baseball who’s underpriced to boot?

    Clearly, the key here was quantity. Arizona called around and said, “how many pitchers will YOU give me for Haren?”.

    Other GMs are going to be on DiPoto like sharks on blood. He’s telegraphed his cluelessness.

    Comment by BuzzingThalami — July 26, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  34. The D-backs got a “haul” in the same sense of the word as in 1-800-HAUL-JUNK.

    Comment by BuzzingThalami — July 26, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  35. Other GMs are going to be on DiPoto like sharks on blood. He’s telegraphed his cluelessness.

    I’m sure all of the other AL GM’s have …

    [1] Sent him hate mail.

    or

    [2] Asked what AZ wants for Upton.

    *grin*

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  36. At a young age I’ll take a LHP with reverse platoon splits any day of the week. In general, guys with reverse platoon splits have a change up that’s better than their breaking ball. That’s a big plus in my mind, especially from a LHP, since most hitters are right handed and thus a change is more important than a breaking ball.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  37. Got to be the future money of Haren’s deal.

    Comment by swheatle — July 26, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  38. I wasn’t implying that there was some sort of directive for you to make the post, I’m talking more about human nature. When literally everyone is saying one thing sometimes one stops and says, “Hey, wait a minute”, but sometimes the consensus is dead on.

    Comment by Mike — July 26, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  39. I think we’re looking at a lot of noise here.

    Haren’s HR/FB has jumped 2% this year over last, and sits about 2% above his career average. Plus his BABIP is at .350 this year. Pitchers just don’t keep that up, particularly pitchers that are quite good in other respects, such as K/BB. And his BABIP spike doesn’t seem to be a product of more line drives. His LD% has been sitting at ~20% since he came to AZ.

    So, in short, I think its telling to look at Haren’s xFIP over the last 3 years:

    2008: 3.21
    2009: 3.08
    2010: 3.38

    Those numbers are not very different. Haren’s bad numbers for the last 12 months look like they are mostly the product of bad luck, not loss of skill.

    If these prospects are like what most people seem to think about them, that being fairly middling, this was a good deal for the Angels. Which I hate to say as an A’s fan. I will not be looking forward watching the A’s face Haren a couple time a year for the next 2.5 years.

    Comment by Wally — July 26, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  40. Unless of course the loss of skill over the past 12 months is seen in his HR/FB data. We’re talking about 222 innings where he’s been horrible in that respect. Its possible that he’s not the same 11% FB/HR pitcher going forward.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  41. Alex,

    Its possible yes. But it seems odd that his HR/FB is the only thing really being effected. If this were a more systemic problem, and we saw drops in strike out and walk rates to go along with it, I’d be more comfortable saying Haren’s talent level has actually changed.

    Right now however, we have only about 4 months out of the last 6 HR/FB data to go on to make that claim.

    I leave that possibility open however, and maybe we should regress his recent HR/FB rate towards his career rate to some extent (I have no idea how much), leaving his true talent changed some, but not a whole lot. Maybe he’s really a 12% HR/FB pitcher now, but that’s a somewhat small change in only one aspect of his pitching value. Though I would guess we should regress HR/FB by more than that.

    Comment by Wally — July 26, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  42. It could easily be that he’s the same pitcher for the most part but he been making more mistakes, leaving more balls flat and up in the zone. Wouldn’t necessarily change his results outside of the HR/FB rate and perhaps his FB rate (which have been up some as well).

    Its not just 4 of the last 6 that the HR/FB rate has been high either. He’s been over 12.5% in 5 of the last 6 months, as well as being over 16.5% in 4 of the last 6 months. Those numbers are pretty consistently terrible. I honestly don’t think you should be regressing it all the way back to 12% at this point, but that’s based more on gut feel than anything else. When you’re this bad for this long, I think its a sign of a more troubling problem.

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  43. Alex, but if he’s leaving pitches out over the plate and they don’t break or what ever, I would think the loss of skills that lead to that would also lead to more walks and less strike outs. I’m not exactly a pitching expert but I would think leaving one out over the plate to get blasted, is really just a loss of control in general, and if that pitch has “gotten away from you,” it really could end up anywhere. Meaning, he’s also missing his spots off the plate, and losing control of the movement of his pitches in general. I just don’t see a logical reason why ONLY HR/FB is effected. Especially considering HR/FB is known to be noisy. Though if this is your theory, it might be worth a little pitchF/X data to see if you can identify cutters, curves or splits that don’t have the same movement, and find that they are generally high in zone.

    Also, I did not count that 12.8% because over 1 months, that seems to be a pretty trivial difference from his career average. Those 15+% seem much more significant to me.

    Also, Haren has not been bad. He’s been unlucky. We can sorta argue about HR/FB after a year worth of data, but we can’t argue about 3 months of BABIP data or 3 months of LOB% data. That is noise. Plus, if he really is anything like a 4.5 ERA pitcher, he’s probably the first pitcher in history to have that kind of true talent with K/BB ratios in the 5 neighborhood.

    Comment by Wally — July 26, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  44. Its a little more complicated than that. If you really want to get into it, pitching up in the zone in general leads to more strikeouts, not less. However, it leads to more FB and more HR, both of which we see in his numbers. As for the BB numbers, I’m not sure which ones you’re looking at because they are quite a bit worse the past year than they were when he was at his peak in 2008 and the first half of 2009. And no, just because a pitch gets away from you, that doesn’t mean it will end up anywhere. If you’re consistently making the same sort of mistake the pitches will generally miss in the same direction. I’m assuming that Haren is missing up and to his arm side as that’s what happens when a pitcher overthrows, releases early, gets too under the pitch, etc.

    Pitch F/X data is only worth so much on something like this. I guess someone who is great with it could look for the sort of things I’d look for, but I’m not nearly that proficient with it. Also, just because a pitch has similar movement due to spin, that doesn’t mean its not flat and staying up in the zone. Simply starting a pitch on a less downward plane with the same spin profile will lead to the same thing.

    I’m not quite sure why you’d basically ignore the 12.8% data point. Sure it may be due in part to noise, but when that “noise” is consistently falling on the same side it begins to become less likely that its noise. Its also not especially close to his career norm, falling outside by more than 15%. Yeah its not as meaningful as all the 15+% HR/FB rates, but when taken in conjunction with them it seems to make the picture a little clearer.

    I never said he was a bad pitcher or that the 4.5 ERA was representative of his true talent level. Now you’re just putting words in my mouth. All I’ve been arguing is that the HR/FB data might be more representative than some are willing to admit. If that’s true, then his true talent level is certainly a lot closer to his current FIP of 3.91 than his current xFIP of 3.38

    Comment by Alex — July 26, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

  45. It doesn’t take much reflection to realize that is on to something. As a blogger making an attempt to convince by way of writings and feedback helps make the argument.

    Comment by Chae Coreen — July 10, 2011 @ 10:23 am

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