Welcome to a playoff race, Dan Haren.
The D-Backs ace was traded to theAmerican League Angels on Sunday in exchange for Joe Saunders and minor leaguers Rafael Rodriguez and southpaw Patrick Corbin. They also get a player to be named later, rumored to be pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs.
Long rumored to be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline, Haren was finally shipped to Southern California and a team that is close to Haren's hometown of Monterey Park.
But make no mistake about the deal - the Angels (six games out of first in the AL West) got the better end of it.
In Haren, the Angels get a top-of-the-line starter who can eat innings and strike out batters. He's not having a Haren-type year, as he is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA, but he's still one of the better hurlers in the game.
The players the D-Backs picked up in the deal aren't impressive. Yes, Saunders was an All-Star in 2008 but has quickly gone downhill over the past few seasons.
He is 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts. While those numbers aren't too far off from Haren these pitchers are a world apart.
In Rodriguez and Corbin, the Snakes get pitching depth, but not spectacular arms. Rodriguez, 25, has only appeared in one game this season.
Corbin has pitched effectively in the minors, going 8-0 with a 3.86 ERA in nine starts at low Class A Cedar Rapids. But he is still a few years away from the majors.
Skaggs, meanwhile, is the ninth-rated prospect the Snakes could haul in. You would think they could get a higher-ranked prospect (or two) in exchange for their best player.
One of the only other positives for the D-Backs is that they save some money in this deal while getting rid of Haren's $8.25 million salary this season and $12.75 million the next two years.
The decision to trade Haren wasn't a surprise (everyone in baseball knew that he was going to be dealt soon). But the package they received?
They had a chance to really build for the future and receive some great prospects in return for Haren. Instead they now have a middling starter and two other unimpressive arms. Skaggs may have a chance to be productive in the majors but not this season or the next.
In his first test, interim General Manager Jerry Dipoto gets a C-.
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