Monday, July 26, 2010

Why The Tigers Couldn't Get Dan Haren - Even if They Wanted Him

The Tigers had neither the veteran pitching nor the young arms that were required to get Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Haren has tremendous ability, but he hasn’t pitched well this season. The Angels are his fourth team, even though he is only 29, which makes you wonder why clubs have been so quick to unload him. It probably has to do with salary. It doesn’t seem to fit Haren’s performance. Is he really worth the nearly $13 million per season his contract calls for in 2011 and 2012?
It’s why teams are looking to move him all the time - at least since his initial trade from the Cardinals to Oakland for Mark Mulder.
Haren had a below .500 record and an ERA climbing toward five in the National League in 2010.
Saunders is having an off season as well, but did start the All Star game in 2008, and has been a very big part of the Angels’ rotation. He had a combined record of 33-14 in 2008 and 2009. And he has pitched relatively well lately and is left-handed. Saunders is a below $4 million per season pitcher, who isn’t eligible for free agency yet.
Velocity is a key element of pitching, sure, but those scoffing at this deal from the Diamondbacks’ standpoint are strictly basing it on Haren’s power arm and strikeout-per-innings ratio being high - and Saunders’ being low.
The Tigers didn’t have a Joe Saunders to give up in the trade, nor as many prospects as the Angels. Patrick Corbin, a 21-year-old in the deal, has a high upside. He was a second-round pick in 2009, and is 13-3 this season with good strikeouts to innings pitched numbers.
And he may not be the prize in the deal. There is widespread speculation that the player to be named later in the trade is left-handed prospect Tyler Skaggs, the 40th overall pick in the 2009 draft, who can’t be dealt yet because he hasn’t been under professional contract for a full year. Combined this season, Corbin and Skaggs, a 19-year-old lefty, are 22-7 in the low minor leagues.
Rafael Rodriguez is an older (mid-20s) borderline prospect, who has limited time in the major leagues after years of knocking around the minor leagues. He might give the Diamondbacks’ bullpen depth - at best..
I’ve seen a lot of panning of the Diamondbacks on this deal, but they actually did pretty well - if Skaggs, indeed, is included.
I’m not sure if Haren, who tends to blow hot and cold, guarantees the Angels anything.



Blogger Barry said...

That okay Pat, we really didn’t need Haren anyway. Lilly be useful against the Yanks in the playoffs. I think the Tigers can save their season by getting a left handed reliever and a power bat (left handed). Berkman , and if the Diamondbacks want to keep dealing, LaRoche will do. Those two will probably not cost as much as Dunn. Cantu won’t cost as much as Dunn either. They need both a power bat and a left handed reliever. Bringing up Oliver for left handed relieving duties might work.

4:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think pitching is the least of the Tigers' problems. They need bats. And they don't necessarily have to be great players, just better than the Triple-A players they have.

12:27 PM 

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