Tag Archives: Dan Haren

D-Backs and the Tao of Trading Haren: ~ What Could’ve Been ~

There’s a minor unspoken rule that interim GMs shouldn’t make trades because they’re only in power for such a little time and it’s easier for an incoming GM to take over the team as is.  Also, sometimes the interim GM makes a terrible trade.

For reference, this is what the Diamondbacks traded for to get Dan Haren and then got back when they traded him away. C/O a D-Backs fan:

We originally obtained Dan Haren [before the 2008 season] by trading Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, Dana Eveland, and Chris Carter. Which means now, in essence, we traded all those names for.. Joe Saunders, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, and what might be Tyler Skaggs if we’re lucky.

Not necessarily, because the D-Backs did get two and a half years of Haren out of that deal.

D-Backs Interim GM Jerry DiPoto, however, cited wins and winning percentage as one of the main reasons he chose to acquire Joe Saunders. No stupid deed goes unpunished.

So a legit centerfielder, a legit starter (and maybe No. 1), two decent back-end starters, and a high-end OF prospect for two and a half years of Haren. Oakland got quite a bit out of that trade and with good reason: Haren was legit.

Let’s give some historical context, though. The D-Backs just wrapped up a 90-win season and a trip to the NLCS. Their rotation was their biggest issue and Haren plugged that hole pretty well. A rotation of Brandon Webb and Haren back-to-back was awesomely reminiscent of the Schilling-Johnson years, when the D-Backs won the World Series.

However, that 2007 team was a 79-win team by pythag win-loss, so maybe that was just an error in judgment.

Anyway, yesterday Haren was flipped for Joe Saunders, a AAAA reliever, a skinny 20-year-old starter in A ball who may have the goods to be a starter and a 19-year-old decent 1st rounder who could be a starter.

This was a salary dump, no doubt about it. There were better offers on the table (Yankees had a decent offer with Ivan Nova and Joba Chamberlain, supposedly) and while Saunders is a MLB starter, he’s not a good one.

You wonder, though, what would’ve happened if the D-Backs stayed the course and didn’t trade for Haren–just focused on what they had coming up and played for a continuously ripening farm system.

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D-Backs Fire Hinch and Byrnes. Why?

Steve Gilbert reports:

#Dbacks have fired manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes according to a baseball source. Full story in a few minutes on dbacks.com.

I don’t know where to draw the line between the failure of a player and the failure of a manager.  But I do know this: the D-Backs are top 5 in UZR/150, top 10 in wOBA, and slightly below average in starting pitching. Not bad.

They’re so bad in bullpen pitching, though, that their overall team pitching is third worst in baseball in xFIP, just ahead of the Pirates and Orioles.  So basically their bullpen is absolutely sinking them, which Hinch did everything he could to avoid.

The D-backs bullpen’s ERA/FIP/xFIP: 6.98/5.56/5.16. That’s WITH a 62 LOB%.

So he knew what the problem was and tried to work around it, but couldn’t avoid getting burned (no pun intended).  At some point, you gotta hand the ball over to a reliever.

Byrnes also did a great job assembling the team, from farm development to trades (getting Dan Haren for not that much, as it turns out) and with a reasonable budget.

Seems like a reactionary move with the team’s current record (31-48, 5th place in NL West).  Maybe it’s Byrnes’ fault for not assembling a decent bullpen, but it was a team-wide meltdown.  Maybe that’s why Hinch isn’t to blame either.

But heads gotta roll, I guess.

Interested to see what D-Backs ownership does in response.  Who are they gonna hire as full time GM and manager before the start of the new season?  Surely they’re not gonna stick with interim GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Kirk Gibson, right?

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Dodger Trade Rumors Popping Up Now

From MLB Trade Rumors:

  • Speaking of Lee, Seattle is telling clubs that they want young hitters in return for the ace. It’s a desire that could be a hurdle for several interested clubs. The Mets, for example, wouldn’t part with Ike Davis in order to land the hurler on a rental. Meanwhile, the Dodgers wouldn’t want to give up Matt Kemp or James Loney.
  • Rosenthal adds that the Dodgers may have a hard time landing the elite starter that they seek. The Astros are looking for financial relief and top prospects in return for Roy Oswalt. Pulling off a deal for Dan Haren of the Diamondbacks could prove to be difficult as Arizona likely doesn’t want to trade him within the division.

Just before that, Rosenthal said the Twins could be major players in the Lee sweepstakes. Trading for Dan Haren is intriguing. Mets sound like the smartest landing spot for Lee, they’ve been more free-wheeling in regards to giving up prospects and have the ones most prepared for the majors in Ike Davis. They could just as easily go for Haren, though, which would be awesome since CitiField is good for flyball pitchers and Haren’s been burned all season on the HR/FB ratio.

I guess Oswalt just won’t go anywhere.

As we’re nearing the deadline, it looks like the Dodgers are less and less likely to make a deal for a top-tier starter. The biggest move the Dodgers make sounds most likely to be for another relief pitcher, which wouldn’t be bad–the bullpen does need help.

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