Angels get Dan Haren and a tree falls in the forest
Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
That is exactly the first thought that went through my head when my I-Phone beeped on Sunday night with the news that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had acquired Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Joe Saunders and a few other guys that (trust me) you will never, ever hear from.
I don't understand this deal from either team's standpoint.
I guess if you try hard you can convince me that the Angels are attempting to keep pace with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers, who, of course, picked up stud Cliff Lee two weeks ago. But, Haren is nowhere near as good as Lee, and may not be all that much better than the one they gave up in Saunders, forgetting for a second the other extra pieces they had to give up.
In case you were wondering. Saunders is a year younger than Haren and also has two more wins than then him since the start of the 2008 season. And, by the way, does not earn $25.5 million over the next two seasons.
Saunders was viewed as an untouchable last summer and last winter when the Angels were engaging in talks with Toronto for Roy Halladay. Why did Anaheim pull the plug now? Did they covet Haren more than Halladay? I am sorry, but this move reeks of desperation from a team that is seven games back of the Rangers at the moment.
Maybe it's just me, but I am not a big Dan Haren guy. If he is that good, how come he is now going to be pitching for his fourth different organization since being drafted in 2001?
Joe Saunders was viewed as an untouchable last summer.
Aren't franchises supposed to build their teams around pitchers like Haren? Why is it that he is always the guy who gets dealt?
As bad as the Kansas City Royals are, how come Zack Greinke is off limits? Why do the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are heading towards their 18th straight losing season, not entertain offers for someone like Paul Maholm?
And yes, I would rather have Paul Maholm than Haren. For that matter, I would rather have Maholm than Roy Oswalt, but maybe that is why I am not in a front office at the moment.
I don't get the fascination with Oswalt either. I hate the fact that you have to convince players on a losing team to play for a winner. I hope Roy Oswalt, his no-trade clause and the $40 million coming to him all remain in Houston for the rest of his career, without a title.
We will see if Oswalt gets moved later this week.
People have said to me in the past week that in both the cases of Haren and Oswalt, it must be hard to get up every fifth day knowing you pitch for Arizona and Houston. Really? That raises more of a red flag for me. That means they have some quit in them. Cliff Lee seemed to do well in Seattle and I don't think I ever noticed Halladay struggling in Toronto.
I'm sorry, if you are moved around as often as Haren, I don't think that much of you. Minnesota dealt Johan Santana only when they had to. Cleveland dealt CC Sabathia and Lee when they had to. There was no reason for Arizona to move Haren, unless, of course, they don't think much of him either.
As little as I think of Haren, I would rather have him than Joe Saunders at the moment. But, if Arizona had already resigned itself to the fact that it had to deal him, couldn't they have found a better package than the one Anaheim gave up? Other than Saunders, the best prospect in the deal is 19 years old.
You have to think that due to his shoulder concerns, Brandon Webb re-signs in Arizona this offseason. With him, Haren, Ian Kennedy and even Edwin Jackson in the fold, that is a pretty solid rotation heading into 2011. Not to mention young offensive stars like Justin Upton, Chris Young and Mark Reynolds.
The Diamondbacks are not as far away as their record may indicate. This, though, probably isn't the only move they will make. I am guessing Jackson is the next to go.
I just don't get it. If this is the move that new general manager Jerry DiPoto is willing to start his legacy with, then good luck. And if this was a salary dump, then how long until the team sells off Justin Upton?
Bottom line, Anaheim is probably better off today than it was when the sun rose on Sunday, but in the grand scheme of things this is a move that will have little or zero impact on the American League West standings.
As far as Arizona goes, well, I guess it's back to the drawing board ... again.