Angels acquire Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks for Joe Saunders and three prospects
According to the Diamondbacks’ official Twitter page the team has traded Dan Haren to the Angels for Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, and a player to be named later. While the Yankees, Twins, Tigers, and Cardinals were all repeatedly linked to Haren over the past couple weeks, the Angels kind of came out of nowhere to snag the ace right-hander. Most reports said the Diamondbacks were focused on getting back some MLB-ready pitching help in a Haren deal and certainly Saunders fits that bill, but as a 29-year-old who has posted an ERA under 4.40 just once in his career he’s hardly a long-term building block. He’s little more than a soon-to-be 30-year-old mid-rotation starter and neither Corbin nor Rodriguez were ranked among the Angels’ top 10 prospects by Baseball America heading into the season, so the identity of the player to be named later is key. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the PTBL “is a top prospect” but is “not going to be Mike Trout,” who ranks as one of the elite prospects in all of baseball. No other Angels were included in Baseball America‘s midseason update of the top 25 prospects in baseball, so while the PTBNL may prove to be someone very good it won’t be an elite prospect. And because of that, I really like this deal for the Angels. Saunders is generally overrated because his career win-loss record is much better than his ERA, secondary numbers, or raw stuff, and to get Haren by packaging him with three non-elite prospects is a no-brainer for the Angels. Haren is signed for reasonable money through 2013 and is a legitimate top-of-the-rotation ace who ranks among the top 12-15 starters in baseball. I’m shocked that the Diamondbacks were willing to sell so low on Haren and just as surprised that no other teams stepped up to beat the Angels’ underwhelming offer.