The Diamondbacks Get Cheap

The idea of this is to present Arizona’s side of the trade but frankly I have been sitting here for an hour and still cannot even come close to justifying this. The argument that I have heard is that the Diamondbacks needed to shed payroll. I do not have any special insight into their balance sheets so I won’t bother refuting that. I will point out that they were already losing some $30 million in contracts this winter so I’m unsure how low they feel their payroll needs to get. However, even granting that premise, this trade is horrendous.

Make no mistake, Dan Haren is still a very good pitcher and he wasn’t a drain on their payroll. Haren was more than worth his contract. That value obviously makes him an easier commodity to move, but the point then would be to get good assets back. We do not yet know the identity of the player to be named later but have heard that it is not Mike Trout, the Angels only really exciting prospect. The known portions of the trade return range from intriguing but far away (Corbin) to generic (Rodriguez) to downright horrendous (Saunders). Joe Saunders probably doesn’t even make sense to retain given that he’s making almost $4 million this year and would expect to see a raise to the $6 or $7 million mark if he went through arbitration.

That is not a good haul; it’s not even a decent haul. It’s downright bad. It’s the sort of return you’d more expect if the person getting traded was a liability due to his contract, not an asset. The Diamondbacks just acted as if they have no understanding of Haren’s .350 BABIP or that their home park is prone to serving up home runs. The Diamondbacks just acted like Dan Haren was Scott Kazmir. He’s not and whoever eventually takes over as the full time GM in Arizona will rue this day as one that set back the organization significantly.




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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


121 Responses to “The Diamondbacks Get Cheap”

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  1. Eric22 says:

    This article should be re-titled………..

    “The Diamondbacks Get Stupid.”

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    • Ivdown says:

      Correction

      The Diamondbacks Remain Stupid

      Trading Scherzer and Schlerith for Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy was a dumb, dumb move.

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      • CodyG says:

        I’m not 100% sure what’s Scherzer’s ceiling is as a pitcher, but from what I understand they were worried he didn’t have enough pitches to make it as a a starter. so in their eyes they saw 2 starters for 2 relievers which makes sense especially if they can get some return for Jackson in a trade.

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      • CodyG says:

        again that’s me assuming they trade jackson, I’m sure they can get some prospect that will is useful at the major league level.

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      • valuearb says:

        Except that Kennedy and Jackson have been way better than Scherzer this year, and Schlereth has control problems. That trade was predicated on trading an injury risk that can’t get deep into games (Scherzer) for two solid starters who can give you tons of innings Max can’t. So far it’s gone pretty much like that.

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      • Dan says:

        Remember that time that Ian Kennedy was good?

        And Max Scherzer was destined for a bullpen?

        And Edwin Jackson has been a serviceable #3, and would be a lot more valuable if the team hadn’t gone down the crapper?

        And Schlereth was horrendous (still) and can’t find the strike zone?

        Apparently not.

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  2. chuckb says:

    The PTBNL is rumored to be Tyler Skaggs who is a pretty good, but not outstanding prospect. It seems here that the D-backs got fleeced. Saunders, as you point out, is a non-tender candidate this offseason though he should get a small boost out of changing leagues. Basically the D-backs got 2 decent prospects and 2 filler guys for a very good pitcher with an ok contract. Big win for the Angels unless the PTBNL does, in fact, turn out to be Trout.

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    • Ryan Rigato says:

      Here is what I am thinking hapenned. A few days ago I was reading Rumblings and Grumblings, by Jayson Stark. In that piece he quoted a scout who said Haren’s stuff was looking “Flat” and “lifeless.” So what I think happened is that the D-Backs front office overreacted to high ERA, which is not indicitive of Haren’s skill, because he is essentially the same pitcher as last year, except with a little worse luck. Th D-Backs need to quit listening to the scouts and look at the peripherals. Unless that PTBNL is Trout, this is a huge mistake.

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      • chuckb says:

        The other thing they seemed to do is insist that they got quantity over quality and insisted on getting as many pitchers as possible. So instead of getting better position players, they took more pitchers and ended up w/ a weaker package overall.

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      • Jeff Francoeur says:

        His stuff is so lifeless, he is striking out 1 batter per inning.

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      • heyyoo says:

        “Th D-Backs need to quit listening to the scouts and look at the peripherals.”

        Are HR’s considered a peripheral ?

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  3. Kirpuck34 says:

    D-Backs got stupid…exactly! How come these GM’s who make these bad deals can’t see that they are bad when everyone else can???

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  4. Joof says:

    Well, apparently Haren isn’t one of the top 50 most valuable trade pieces, because you can get him for total crap.

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  5. As Branch Rickey once said, it’s better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. Danny Haren has a 4.73 ERA in his last 35 starts. The Angels may have another Kazmir situation on their hands.

    Skaggs is not chopped liver and perhaps they intend to flip Joe Saunders after he rebuilds some value in the NL. It’s possible this trade isn’t as horrible as our initial reactions (mine included).

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    • Chris says:

      Haren’s ERA is higher because of an unsustainable BABIP of 350. Not because he’s pitching significantly worse.

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    • Gio says:

      Who seriously goes to Fangraphs, registers an account and then cites ERA in their argument?

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      • I know ERA isn’t the best indicator of pitching performance. I’m merely trying to see why AZ would make this deal. I realize a .350 BABIP is unsustainable but that doesn’t include the 23 home runs Haren has given up this year, tied for second-most in the game.

        I’m aware his peripherals are otherwise very good.

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      • CMC_Stags says:

        Because HR:FB of 14% is sustainable?

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      • aron says:

        Yeah, seriously- who wants a dissenting opinion posted on a message board? What an a-hole.

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    • Teej says:

      Kazmir sucked when he got traded. Dan Haren is still really good.

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    • philosofool says:

      ERA?

      This is replacement level trolling, at best.

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      • schlomsd says:

        You can’t complete ignore ERA. For the past season he’s been terrible, “unsustainable” BABIP or not. This is also pitching in the NL West which overcomes some of his ballpark disadvantages. This might be a steal for the Angels but it’s certainly not 100% certain that he’ll return to the type of pitcher he was in the first half of 2009.

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      • I’m honestly not trolling. As I’ve said, I’m trying to understand why the Diamondbacks made this deal.

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      • philosofool says:

        I can and do completely ignore ERA. I never, ever pay attention to it, at all. The best thing you will get from looking at ERA is ineluctable temptation to think false things about how or why a pitcher is or isn’t matching the results his peripherals suggest he should have.

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      • schlomsd says:

        @philosofool:

        So you are basically saying results don’t matter? Are you Dayton Moore?

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      • Darien says:

        @schlomsd:

        Results don’t matter when the “results” in question are basically a composite of the team’s entire defensive ability, not adjusted for park factor, and without even an attempt to normalise for luck. Which is, fundamentally, the story of ERA. Peripherals are what you actually want, here — those are the actual “results” that Haren has actually produced.

        This goes double when you consider that we’re fundamentally talking predictions, and ERA is notorious for predicting itself badly. Peripherals do a better job of predicting future performance than raw ERA.

        And it’s a bit looney-tunes to discuss a pitcher whose home is Chase Field and not even adjust for park factor.

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      • Nathan says:

        Results (ERA) matter but aren’t predictive. Haren’s ERA this year is predictive of nothing he’ll do in the future, whereas his peripherals certainly are. So in this instance, ERA is totally useless.

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    • DL says:

      It’s not better to trade a guy a year too early when what you get back in the deal is what you would have had you traded him a year too late.

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  6. hk says:

    This is the worst trade by an interim GM since Jim Duquette traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano. Scratch that, this is the worst trade by an interim GM since, well since as far back as I can remember.

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    • Chair says:

      In the 90′s Tom Lasorda was intern GM and traded Pedro (yes that Pedro) to the Expos for Delino Deshields who fell apart immediately upon arriving in LA.

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      • Bill says:

        Tommy Lasorda was GM at one time !?! I’m surprised traded Pedro was the worst of his sins. I mean he seemed like an OK manager, but who in their right mind would have made him a GM?

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      • Chair says:

        It was for like two months I think. But I dont think there could be a worse sin than trading Pedro.

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  7. Jeff Francoeur says:

    Maybe wins and ERA still hold a lot of value in the minds of GMs. Saunders has more wins than Haren over the last 3 years and they have almost identical ERAs this season.

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    • ralph says:

      Jerrry DiPoto in his press conference emphasized that he was “pretty sure” (or very similar language) that that over the last three years, Saunders has more wins than anyone except Halladay.

      He also emphasized how this was a really good trade because Haren gets to go home to Anaheim and Saunders gets to go home to Phoenix.

      Seriously.

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      • ralph says:

        Sorry, most wins *in the AL* except for Halladay in the last three years.

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      • Bryz says:

        I wish that DiPoto saying he acquired Saunders because of his win totals was a joke.

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      • ralph says:

        Here’s the audio to the press conference for those who like to listen to things and say WTF to themselves over and over again.

        http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/401308/DiPoto_postgame_072510.mp3

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      • chuckb says:

        It’ll be interesting to see if his replacement ends up non-tendering Saunders this winter. Perhaps Arizona’s ownership wouldn’t allow that to happen but Saunders figures to be a 1.5 – 2 win pitcher at most and will probably make $6 – 7 million through arbitration. He might pitch only 2 months for the D-backs.

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      • etasports says:

        Wow…he cited Corbin leading the minor leagues in wins to date.

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      • Marxkip says:

        -sigh-
        I really wish that as time passes and GMs get replaced, they get better, but they don’t.

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      • Dan says:

        Is it that hard to believe that, perhaps, in a press conference that tons of average fans will listen to, that a GM who had used many more complex thought processes in making a deal might try to simplify it?

        If a GM went up in front of the media saying that Corbin’s FIP of 3.03 across two levels (one of which, the Cal League, is very hitter-friendly) was superb due to his phenomenal strikeout rate (8.04 K/9), walk rate (2.12 BB/9), and GO/AO ratio (1.34/1), and that he is one of the better pitchers in the minors because of that FIP, the vast majority of the people listening to the press conference would be very confused and the GM would look very pompous and sound very arrogant.

        Y’know, like a lot of people on these boards can come across at times without trying to.

        It’s the nature of advanced stats. When you start throwing these numbers around, you’re often not talking to your fans, but you’re talking AT your fans. It’s why organizations can’t spout xFIP’s and wOBA’s in their press releases.

        Also, Jerry Dipoto talks a lot. If you get him going long enough, he’s bound to say something that will bug all of us new-age stat puritans.

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    • Jason B says:

      That sounds like something the real Jeff Francoeur would say…

      (Kidding aside, I think your point stands; pitchers’ win totals, sadly, mean something to some GM’s and award voters.)

      And I would say, no, there’s no chance he’ll be non-tendered if wins mean so much to this new regime. How can you just let go of a pitcher who finds a way to win that much, depsite his general suckitude?!?

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  8. Keanu's Favourite Line says:

    Does anyone else want their own GM fired for not being able to offer a better deal? Even if the GM didn’t hear about it happening beforehand, I would want my GM to be able to get ahead of something like this.

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    • schlomsd says:

      The Padres could easily have topped that offer but I’m assuming the Dbacks didn’t want to dump Haren in the division or probably even in the league. At least now they know they’ll only face Haren in a possible interleague matchup, not when it matters.

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    • Sophist says:

      You figure in a situation like this that the DBacks made a (scouting) evaluation and maybe just screwed it up. A team could have come along with a more valuable package that the DBacks didn’t recognize as such or like.

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    • Visnovsky says:

      I wish the Twins had gotten involved. ARRGG

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    • philosofool says:

      I’m a Mariners fan and I honestly wonder whether the next two cheap years of Dan Haren would be worth sending the D-Backs Doug Fister and some stuff. We’re not contenders, but with Dan Haren next season, we suddenly look like 2011 AL West contenders. I mean, we shouldn’t have been able to compete with this package, but, uh, if we had, I wouldn’t have opposed giving away Doug Fister and some grade B prospects to have him. Besides, now he on the fucking Angels.

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      • DT says:

        No offense but i don;t think pitching is the Mariner’s problems. You guys had the Cliff Lee and King Felix combo and still couldn’t manage to compete. the Mariners need to focus on a bat

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      • Double06 says:

        @DT: The Mariners will need pitching for 2011 as well. Felix-Fister-Vargas-Pineda-Olson/Feierabend/5thStarter leaves a lot to be desired. You’re right that the Mariners need position players too, but I’m with philisofool. The Mariners would have done extremely well to top that with a package around Fister or Vargas.

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      • DT says:

        @Double06..no doubt, getting an ace is great for any team. But i would prioritize a bat over pitching as a concern for the Mariners. still getting haren for 3 years will stabilize their staff and make it easier to focus on getting a slugger

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    • Nathan says:

      If that’s all it took, why couldn’t the Orioles have sent Tillman, Berken, and Hobgood or some similar package to get him. So yes, this frustrates me that MacPhail didn’t get it done, in my Oriole-fan case.

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      • Nathan says:

        Or Guthrie and Tillman, or whatever. For 3+ cheap years of Haren… grrrrr.

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      • Bill says:

        In defense of the O’s, by the time they are ready to compete, they will be able to sign Haren, or his equivalent, as a free agent. They would be better off holding on Tillman and Hobgood. They haven’t shown much yet, but they still have a lot of potential.

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  9. IHateTradeRumors says:

    I was watching MLB network when the trade was announced and they showed some of the press conferences with Haren and the Dbacks GM. The guy said “Saunders is a winner he has won in over (60%) of his games.” Not sure the exact quote but it was something beyond stupid like that. I hope he was just trying to sell this to his fans and really got Mike Trout out of the deal or I feel bad for fans of that organization and players still in it.

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  10. Jake R says:

    I’m not saying this isn’t a terrible deal. It is. But, Skaggs being the PTBNL raises it from monumentally stupid to they just got fleeced. Skaggs is an 18 year old having a great season in full season ball who has a ton of projection in him. Corbin is another young highly projectable pitcher. Skaggs and Corbin are a pretty solid package for Haren if they were included with an averagish major league starter. The problem is, Joe Saunders is not that player.

    But, don’t fall into the trap of evaluating this deal based on the preseason rankings of Skaggs/Corbin. Neither had played full season ball prior to this year and both are excelling in their full season debuts and are significantly better prospects than they were six months ago.

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    • OremLK says:

      I’m guessing their scouts made an evaluation of Skaggs and Corbin and came away very impressed with both of them. Neither are high profile prospects because this is their first year of full-season ball, like you said. But their performances this season have been very impressive, and the scouting reports I’ve read sound good, too.

      I could see both being top 100 prospects in baseball at the end of the year, depending on how their perform over the rest of the season.

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      • jdbolick says:

        Neither player will come anywhere close to being in the top 100. Skaggs has the potential to get on the bottom half of that list someday, but is very far away from realizing that upside. Meanwhile Corbin projects as a back of the rotation innings eater at absolute best. When you trade one of the best starting pitchers in the game who is getting paid roughly the same amount as Carlos Silva over the next two seasons, at minimum you should receive one of the best prospects in baseball. Or if your choice of trading partners prevents that, you should at least get one of that team’s best prospects. The Diamondbacks didn’t come anywhere close to either. This trade is unimaginably bad, and just reinforces the idea that complete morons are running major league organizations.

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      • OremLK says:

        jdbolick, I think you’re pretty mistaken about both of those prospects. What are you basing your information on?

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      • jdbolick says:

        Skaggs was taken with the 40th pick in ’09 draft. His projectable frame and good stuff as a left-handed pitcher makes him attractive, but if he was perceived as an elite talent then he wouldn’t have lasted that long (he was not a signability guy). He’s having a good season in A, but that doesn’t make him anywhere near a top 100 prospects list. Again, this is a guy who barely cracked Baseball America’s top 10 for Anaheim in what was generally considered a weak group. Meanwhile Corbin does not have the “stuff” that Skaggs does, but he is more advanced. Actually, comparing his future to Joe Saunders probably isn’t unreasonable.

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      • OremLK says:

        As has already been mentioned, pre-season rankings are not valid at this point in the year. The minor leagues move fast. Draft position doesn’t have anything to do with current stock, either; performance and scouting are what matters.

        Both of these guys have had dominant seasons with ridiculous K/BB ratios, both of them are athletic and projectable. I don’t think you can evaluate this trade without knowing these prospects’ current stock, and I don’t think anybody here has a good feel for that.

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      • jd,

        I’m not sure Skaggs is a top-100 guy this year or not, but his pre-season ranking was mainly based on the fact that he threw just 10 innings of pro ball. We now know he’s able to consistently throw strikes and miss plenty of bats in Single-A as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. Command within the strike zone is still an issue, but that’s not surprising given his age.

        The addition of Skaggs does make this deal more tolerable for the Diamondbacks even though it still represents a huge risk on Arizona’s part to deal your best pitcher for two pitching prospects that have yet to get out of A+ ball and who each have less than a year of pro experience.

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      • jdbolick says:

        Preseason rankings are flawed and don’t represent absolute truth, but they absolutely are germane to any evaluation, just as Skaggs’ draft slot is. Skaggs didn’t suddenly have a huge jump in velocity since the draft, nor did he develop a new pitch or do anything that caused an enormous change in his potential value. And Corbin doesn’t have the “stuff” to ever even think about being a dominating pitcher at the major league level, so please stop trying to turn A ball numbers into some sign of future success. Skaggs is a prospect with upside, but not even one of the weak Angels system’s best pitching prospects, and Corbin is nothing but an arm you hope might one day contribute at the back of the rotation or out of the bullpen. These are not elite prospects by any stretch of the imagination. Numbers in A ball should never be taken as indicative of future stardom.

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  11. Baracus says:

    I just acquired Haren in my keeper league. Haren is still an ace. The Diamondbacks are still a second rate organization. Too bad.

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  12. jdbolick says:

    Discussing the trade itself seems rather pointless. FanGraphs should probably jump right to analyzing where this ranks among the worst trades of the last decade.

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  13. schlomsd says:

    How much different is this trade than the Peavy to the White Sox trade?

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    • Darien says:

      Very different, in that Peavy makes about twice as much money as Haren and isn’t as good. If I recall, the Padres were basically forced to move Peavy due to their payroll contracting, and Peavy was very selective about the teams he was willing to go to — if I remember correctly, the only teams he was willing to be traded to were the Cubs and the White Sox, and the Cubs decided they had plenty of $15 million unreliable pitching.

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      • Theron says:

        No, Peavy would have gone to other NL teams and didn’t want to go to the White Sox. He actually vetoed a trade to them earlier in the year an later relented, probably due to a payoff. That said, you are correct that the deals are much different.

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  14. jd says:

    Pure speculation here, but I wonder if Hank Conger was originally supposed to be in the deal until his injury. I can see a GM in DiPoto’s shoes getting far along with the details of a deal like Conger + lesser prospects for Haren, wanting to salvage the deal when Conger gets injured, and then making a (very) bad call in taking a restructured deal. Especially if the Angels were the only suitor willing to take on the whole contract, you could see DiPoto trying too hard to make it work and losing perspective.

    Heck, Reagins probably could have said “take any guy in our system except Trout!” and it still would have been a great deal for Anaheim — it’s not like they had any blue chippers except Trout and maybe Conger. And how can you turn down “take anybody but our #1″ when nobody else is offering you their #1?

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    • jdbolick says:

      While throwing around conspiracy theories, I’m wondering if Josh Byrnes was fired in part because he refused to trade Dan Haren for garbage. It makes some sense that Byrnes would recognize Haren’s actual value as opposed to being obsessed with his current ERA, and management’s short-sighted desire to cut payroll may have come into conflict.

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    • chuckb says:

      I think the D-backs insisted on getting back as many pitchers as possible so I doubt that Conger was ever included. There just aren’t too many teams willing to give up a pitcher from their starting rotation (no matter how weak the pitcher is), and 3 pitchers from their system. As I said earlier, they chose pitchers over non-pitchers and quantity over quality. As a result, they ended up w/ 2 decent prospects and 2 filler guys, one of whom they may end up non-tendering this winter.

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    • swheatle says:

      Conger could still be the PTBNL.

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  15. Chair says:

    You haters don’t know what you are talking about. Saunders is a former ALLSTAR that went 33-14 in the two years before this. He is still young and in the inferior NL will be able to contend for the Cy Young award. Dan Haren is and always was a coward- Dan Gilbert

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    • Chadam says:

      I personally GUARANTEE that the Diamondbacks will win an AL West pennant before Haren and the Angels. – Jerry “Dan Gilbert” DiPoto

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  16. FantasyBeisbol says:

    League master should just veto this one. Obvious collusion.

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  17. tdotsports1 says:

    My first thought was this was a total ripoff, are we missing something health wise involving Haren?

    Even if Haren falls off significantly in the AL, they still didn’t give up much to cry about.

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  18. Chair says:

    Worst trade since Phillies traded Cliff Lee.

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  19. Joe says:

    Big league clubs know better than we do, and what no one is mentioning is Haren’s sudden drop in velocity. This was a guy that threw 90.6 MPH last season, consistently, and now he is only throwing 90.5 MPH. I don’t know if there is something wrong with him or what, but the Diamondbacks simply wanted to get something before Haren’s career hits the bottom of the spiral. Give credit to “Interim GM.” He deserves it.

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    • Chair says:

      That is just plain ridiculous. For one, Haren’s Ks are not down so they have no reason to freak out about a decline in velocity. As has been said, he has suffered from bad luck this year in a hitter’s park.

      It is simply idiotic to say big league clubs know better than we do when there is so much evidence out there nowadays that supports otherwise. It’s like saying people should not think for themselves because politicians are smarter and should make our choices for us.

      Also even if Haren’s decline was eminent, the fact remains that the Dbacks could have obtained a FAR greater package than the one they did, that is the biggest fault in this trade.

      Unless we are all surprised and the ptbnl does somehow turn out to be Trout, this could go down as the worst haul obtained for a veteran star in many many years.

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      • Darien says:

        Reckon you just got trolled, my friend.

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      • -dls- says:

        Am i being duped by a master, or are you really this oblivious?

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      • Chair says:

        dls- YOU are the oblivious one buddy and Joe seems to agree.

        #1- “Big league clubs know better than we do”

        He is saying that if you are not a big league club you are of inferior intelligence and what you say does not matter, but because he himself is not a big league club, what he says does not matter, so he is contradicting himself.

        #2- “Give credit to “interm GM” he deserves it”,

        “HE”

        Joe is sexist. He is just assuming that the interm GM is not the first female GM in MLB which is wrong. However I am assuming that Joe is a he, so I am also sexist. Damit.

        It doesn’t matter though because none of us are big league clubs, so we should just stop thinking and turn ourselves into batteries for our overlords like in The Matrix.

        You could have chosen the red pill, over the blue one, but YOU chose to be oblivious.

        :0 :) :(

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      • Chair says:

        Except this is a troll within a troll within a troll, so it should be inception not the Matrix, damit!………..except inception was a Matrix rip off….we cool.

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      • baty says:

        I need more than suffering from poor luck in a hitter’s park. And while he has been a little “unlucky” with the home run at home, his numbers are just as unappealing on the road pitching in some larger parks also. I’ll even subtract the horrible outing he had in Colorado.

        Last year he had 1 start in which he allowed double digit fly balls (10 FB). This year i think it’s already past 6. I would say he’s a different pitcher this year. The pitch type percentages appear to be shifting once again and the plate approach spread would agree. He had/has been obviously struggling with something besides an inflated BABIP.

        The biggest fault in this deal would be in fact trading him at his lowest perceived value, unless there’s something we don’t know about yet.

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      • baty says:

        So because his K% is up does that mean we should be preparing a celebration for velocity increase?

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      • Chair says:

        You are so right baty. Haren sucks now. The Dbacks won the deal. If you ain’t first in MLB in strikeouts, you’re last. I mean Haren is not even in the top ten in MLB in BB/9, he’s 12!!! What. A. Loser.

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      • baty says:

        Haha, did I do anything other than comment on some shifting trends with his pitching? I take it I should have finished up with patting him on the back and mentioning for the 60th time on this thread that the deal was bad. He’s obviously a good pitcher and the trade was obviously a poor deal… I’m just wondering what his issues are. Give me something to work with next time.

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      • Chair says:

        Well, I think it truly as simple as saying that he has suffered from a 350. BABIP and higher than usual hr/fb due to bad luck as apposed to randomly becoming more hittable. He is pitching as well as ever in his career and one of the top 10 pitchers in the game in my estimation.

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  20. Jonathan says:

    As a Yankee fan this disgusts me. The whole Lee thing was bad enough when Z made a deal and backed out for Smoak over Montero…not looking so good right now but EXTREME small sample size. But for this hack GM to take all that crap, and to take on a non tender candidate that would make on his own about half of what Haren would make next year when turning down our offer is insane. They wanted, Joba, Nova, and 2 other prospects, possibly Banueloes and McAllister and us to take on Qualls and Snyder’s contracts. How can you ask for that much and then ask for what they got from the Angels…Can you imagine the look on Reagins face when they agreed to this? It’s like in fantasy baseball when you get bored at 2 am and send all these ridiculous offers to players on the off chance one of them is stupid enough to accept. I’m not a Neyer fan, but he wrote a great article on the Kazmir for Zambrano trade. He said most trades at the start are mostly even and usually just end up lopsided for problems you couldn’t predict like injuries, off the field problems and stuff like that, but the Kazmir deal was so obvioius that it was a dumb move at the time that it really stuck out in that sense. This is going down as one of those trades as well. I don’t think the Angels have what it takes, especially with the 05 yankees defensive equivalent in the OF, to make it this year but they sure can next year when Lee is left the Rangers and Morales is back etc. But imagine if they traded him to the Twins or Phillies or Mets or Yankees? The Yankees would go from the best team in baseball with a few holes to Haren in the rotation and Hughes to the 8th and fill 2 monster holes. CC/Haren/Pettitre/AJ/Javy with Hughes in the 8th and Tex/Jeter/Granderson/Arod turning it around….and we all know the Twins need an ace and what the NL East teams need. It sucks my team didn’t get hiim, but I think they could have gotten better offers from almost every team in baseball.

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    • Renegade says:

      Hate to say it but you have nobody to blame but your own GM for not beating that offer. Also, can Yankee fans stop acting like Joba is a major trade piece?

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      • DT says:

        Joba with his 5 era has a better WAR than Saunders. Also joba has a 2.67 FIP and a 3.33 xFIP. His BABIP is at .400 which is frigging insane and unsustainable. He has a good K/9 and a decent BB/9 …so yeah he still has value. But Zona’s GM is an idiot

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    • DT says:

      As a yankees fan i will say the Yanks package was better but Cashman didn’t really prioritize Haren since Andy is coming back and Javy + Aj are looking better after having a bad April and a Bad june respectively. Plus we aren;t giving up prospects for haren b/c of Cliff Lee who is a FA this offseason. And since Hank has put a payroll limit this year, taking in haren’s 12 mil would mean there would be less money allocated in signing Cliff Lee who the yanks are very high on (willing to trade their best prospects for a half of season of unlike Haren who the yanks were meh on) Addionally Haren would be a less than ideal fit for Yankee stadium. There’s a reason why Hughes has 15 hrs given up at home and 0 on the road (i feel he’s comparable to haren except younger with a lower hr% but a lower K%) . Haren has a high hr rate which will come into play at Yankees stadium.

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      • JonnyBS says:

        I take Haren’s three years contract over “how much Cliff Lee will make when he’s 40 years old.”

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      • DT says:

        well duh…but we’re talking yankees and i’ll admit money isn’t a problem for them. would i have taken haren for a bag of beans? hell yea…but it’s not a major blow for the yanks.

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    • Short says:

      It’s so too early to judge the Smoak deal. The kid is 23 years old and has already had a two HR game…followed by a lot of abject failure. I think Cashman, of all people, needs to stop whining. He’s got the easiest GM job in the majors.

      As an M’s fan I sincerely hope the Yanks meet the Rangers in a five game series. Unfortunately it looks like the Rangers are going to be the second-best division winner and a Yanks-Rangers series will be a seven-gamer. It will suck when Lee wins two playoff games and his team loses the series anyway…again.

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  21. word says:

    To: schlomsd and Phenomenal Smith:

    Aside from his .350 BABIP, Haren has allowed HR’s at an unsustainble rate. The batted ball profile has not changed as well.

    Furthermore, Haren was awesome with the A’s for several years in the American League. His fastball velocity is pretty much unchanged so I think injury is out of the question.

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  22. Pat says:

    One thing I noticed that was pretty odd about Haren, not sure if this will contribute to his struggles this year or not, but he quit throwing his slider two years ago. He is obviously still able to finish guys off but I don’t think his curve is nearly as good as his slider used to be.

    Also regarding ERA, I don’t see how it’s irrelevant. As a coach, you can’t just pat a guy on the back after giving up 10 hits and 6 runs and say it’s ok the other team just got lucky. That won’t take the runs off the board. Manny Parra has had a high BABIP his whole career, I don’t think he’s had bad luck his whole life. He’s just bad despite the fact he gets strikeouts. Good peripherals usually indicate future success 90% of the time, but they don’t always.

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  23. ThundaPC says:

    Ugh.

    I have to say, after listening to Jerry DiPoto’s press conference regarding the trade, he very much reminds me of Bill Bavasi. He spent a good chunk of time gushing over Joe Saunders and hardly any of it was related to his skillset (“Yea, average fastball, good change-up….whatever, .630 win percentage! Playoff experience!”).

    I thought DiPoto was smarter than this. D’backs need to get rid of him ASAP. Unless this is more inline with how the D’backs operate anyway in which case oh dear…

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  24. brent in Korea says:

    My prediction is that almost every other GM will now be on the phone with Arizona’s GM.

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  25. BuzzingThalami says:

    Some good comments here. Just phenomenal to hear that DiPoto cited Saunder’s “win” totals in the AL as some measure of the kind of pitcher he was getting. How do people like this get to be one of the 30 GMs in 2010? How?

    We actually had a telegraphing of this during the past 2 weeks when we heard that “the Diamondbacks are asking for two major league pitchers and a prospect” for Haren. Apparently, Oliver Perez, H. Takahashi and some borderline “prospect” would have snagged Haren.

    I remember commenting how inane these generic requirements the D-backs were leaking sounded, but most pundits and commentators were busy being shocked at how “much” Arizona was looking for. *scratches head*

    Are all “major league pitchers” really interchangeable?

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  26. Chris says:

    Once again the yankees get screwed. Brings memories of last year when the mariners was asking for an arm and leg for washburn which got traded to detroit for nothing near what they were asking for from the yanks. Now this year the diamondbacks who asked for Joba as well as a few plus prospects and more for haren trades him to the angels for next to nothing.. I know the argument will be that Joba is overrated but hell i’ll take him over saunders any day. Seems like teams are fed up on how the yanks just buy people, turn around and screw them on trades. Makes me laugh what a joke!!!

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    • Lance W says:

      I actually had pretty much this same thought, except the example I always think of is the Johan Santana deal. It seems like the Yankees or pretty much any other team could have made an offer of this caliber, and I always hate seeing trades like that. Oh well though. I’ll always hate the D-Backs because of the 2001 World Series so them losing two of their only impressive pieces (GM and ace) makes for a good season.

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    • Bill says:

      Maybe GM’s are pissed at Cashman for his some of his free agent signing tactics. He lets other teams hammer out free agent contracts and then Boras comes to him and he beats it. At least, this is what happened with Teixeira. It does seem like teams have a reluctance to trade with the Yankees.

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    • Jason B says:

      I like how a trade involving the Angels and D’backs results in a cry of “THE YANKEES GOT SCREWED!!!”

      They also got screwed in the LeBron decision and the Treaty of Versailles. I mean, f*ck Poland; the Yankees should have gotten Upper Silesia, at least.

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  27. Matt says:

    Frankly, I’m wondering why the Rangers didn’t go for Haren.

    Barring the money in Haren’s contract, the Rangers have a huge amount of pitching prospects and MLB ready starters. Exactly what the Dbacks wanted.

    And, it basically guarantees them an ALCS/ world series appearance.

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    • Jason B says:

      World Series?!? Umm…no. Gobs and gobs of no. The addition of no player – ANY player – changes your postseason outlook from ~20-30% to reach the WS to ~90-100%.

      Unless it’s Bugs Bunny. He OWNED the Gashouse Gorillas.

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      • Matt says:

        You really don’t think that the combination of the rangers offense, along with a 1-2 punch of Cliff Lee and Dan Haren isn’t enough to get to the ALCS/postseason?

        That’s crazy talk.

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    • swheatle says:

      Well money is probably why Haren was traded and why the Rangers couldn’t trade for him; they’re already getting a lot of flack from other teams for adding, what, $1.5 million in salary for Cliff Lee while in bankruptcy. AZ didn’t eat any salary and the Rangers couldn’t add Haren’s contract to their payroll, especially the future years.

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  28. kokushishin says:

    I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

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  29. William says:

    Wow did the Angels luck out. If they knew a half year ago Lackey would be replaced by Haren…

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  30. Joey B says:

    I’m not a Haren fan, but for relatively close money, the DBacks could’ve had Haren and Scherzer starting next season instead of Jackson and Saunders. You can’t dismiss obtaining Kennedy in the Scherzer deal, but it doesn’t look like they are saving money or getting better.

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    • valuearb says:

      2.9 WAR is better than 1.4 WAR.
      252 innings of above average starters is worth more than 105 innings of a starter with well above average stuff who rarely makes it out of the 5th.

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  31. seriously says:

    Your the man for understanding what BABIP means Carruth, if only the GMs were as cool as you they would have no problems.

    I dont really mind this haul for the DBacks. Corbin is a pretty solid pitching prospect and Skaggs was a pretty trendy breakout pick before the season. I agree that they could have got a package with more name recognition somewhere else but i think they got what they wanted.

    And for a beef I have with a lot of people on here. ERA is in no way predictive of a pitchers future ERA. BUT ERA can be used and should be used as a way to judge past performance.

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    • Short says:

      You won’t get far around here suggesting ERA is good for much. I guess if you’re trying to decide how a pitcher will perform in the same stadium, in front of the same defense with the same bullpen…it can be a rough guide. But ERA still contains so much fuzz due to luck and the effect of sometimes-arbitrary scoring decisions that it really isn’t very good at judging much of anything about a pitcher. There are much better stats available on this and many other sites these days.

      That DiPoto repeatedly brought up how many Wins Saunders has had in last few seasons has horrifying implications for the thought process he uses to evaluate players in a deal. I hope the M’s FO is calling him right now.

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  32. Dan says:

    I’ve got a new way to think about this one for you folks. Joe Saunders can get you 2 WAR if I’m generous. Dan Haren can get you 6 WAR, but also if I’m generous (this year he will fall far short of this number because of HR/FB, so I think giving him 6 justifies giving Saunders 2). We dealt a 4 WAR pitcher making $11MM total over the next two seasons (discounting the $14MM estimated total for the last two years of Saunders’ arb – people here seem to be over-blowing this figure, he’ll probably get just around $5MM next year – from Haren’s salaries) for Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, and a warm body who can soak up some meaningless innings in a crappy bullpen on a crappy team. Skaggs could be a #2 starter, Corbin could be a #4.

    Obviously, those are projections, but two tall, lanky lefties to help re-stock a system is a nice thing to have. And those two guys are at the same level as the best prospects of the D’backs system (minus Jarrod Parker/Brandon Allen) – Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, Bobby Borchering, Marc Krauss, Eric Smith, Chase Anderson, Michael Belfiore, Scottie Allen, Charles Brewer, Paul Goldschmidt, Keon Broxton, & A.J. Pollock.

    Names that slot in as approx. 4 WAR guys – Buehrle, Kuroda, Marcum, Pavano. You wouldn’t trade any of those guys on that contract for those two prospects?

    It’s just something to think about, everyone.

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  34. Eddie Bane says:

    Do you people ever look back and read some of the stuff written. Collectively about 120 people were dead wrong and you all drink every bit of the Kool-Aid and believed what those numbers supposedly told all of you. Looks so foolish now that almost all of you thought it was a lousy trade for Arizona when in reality they cleaned up on this deal. All together now take your foot out of your mouth and think before you write.

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