When the Diamondbacks traded right-hander Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, it was a clear signal that they will follow the San Diego/Toronto model as they restructure going forward.
The D-backs acquired four pitches for their ace, Haren, a deal that is
somewhat similar to one made by the Padres last season, when they traded big-money ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for a package of four pitching prospects that included lefty Clayton Richard, who has replaced Peavy in the starting rotation and helped San Diego grab the NL West lead. Toronto received prospects for ace Roy Halladay without adversely affecting its ability to compete.
The D-backs received left-hander Joe Saunders, a 2008 All-Star, as an immediate piece to replace Haren in the starting rotation, along with Class A lefty Patrick Corbin and Class AAA right-hander Rafael Rodriguez. Corbin led minor league baseball with 13 victories at the time of the deal. The fourth player will be Class A left-hander Tyler Skaggs, Fox Sports Arizona reported. Skaggs, the Angels'
18th-best prospect in the Angels' system entering the season as ranked by
Scout.com, cannot be traded until a year has passed since he signed. He joined the Angels on August 7, 2009.
"It is a chance for us to restructure our roster and give it a little bit of a different look," said D-backs interim general manager Jerry Dipoto. "We achieved major league quality in Joe Saunders. He is a quality, durable major league starter, and we feel like this club needs that. The prospects involved bring up talent we need to build with. This deal checked a lot of boxes for the Arizona Diamondbacks."
Haren is owed $28.5 million through 2013, including a $3.5 million buyout on his $15.5 million option. Saunders is making $3.7 million this year, and he has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He is likely to earn about $6 million next year as the D-backs attempt to get their payroll in the $60 million range after hitting almost $80 million this year.
"We watch Dan Haren walk out the door with sadness," said Dipoto.
"Nothing Dan Haren did brought our organization to the point where we are today: a last-place club."
"We got to what we wanted to get," he continued. "We were able to add to our club now. We were able to provide for our club's future, and at the same time we were able to create a better balance and a better flexibility to the way our dollars are allocated on our major league payroll in order to better tend to different holes on the club that may exist as we stand today."
Saunders, 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA this season, won 17 games in 2008 and 16 games last season and is 54-32 in six seasons with the Angels.
GIANTS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2 (10 innings): The D-backs suffered their first four-game series sweep since 2006 when RHP Esmerling Vasquez gave up a run in the 10th in a rally started by C Buster Posey's fourth hit of the game, a double. RHP Barry Enright gave up two earned runs in six innings and drove in the D-backs' only two runs with a double to the center field fence off Giants RHP Tim Lincecum. RF Justin Upton, who had three hits, extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
--RF Justin Upton had two doubles and a single while extending his hitting streak to 12 games, the second-longest hitting streak of his career after an 18-gamer in 2009. Upton has six multiple-hit games in that stretch with eight doubles, eight RBI, and seven walks.
--INF Augie Ojeda started at third base Sunday against Giants RHP Tim Lincecum, a move that enabled 3B Mark Reynolds to take consecutive days off because of a travel day Monday to Philadelphia. Ojeda executed a good piece of hitting in the second inning, singling through a hole at shortstop when SS Edgar Renteria went to cover second base as LF Gerardo Parra was running on the play. It set up RHP Barry Enright's two-run double.
Ojeda has seven starts this year (also three at second base and three at shortstop, Those starts have come against Colorado RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, St. Louis LHP Jaime Garcia, Detroit RHP Armando Galarraga, St. Louis RHP Jeff Suppan, Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, New York Mets LHP Jon Niese, and Lincecum.
--3B Mark Reynolds was 5-for-24 with three home runs, six RBI, and 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats in the seven-game homestand. "He's grinding hard. He's worked a lot, off the field, too, in the cage," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He cares. He's very motivated to get better; I know that."
--D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is a fan of new Hall of Fame inductee OF Andre Dawson: "He played hard and he had a good game, too. One of the things -- he was a collusion guy. He had a great year (1986), and he had no offers from anybody. If that didn't make everybody guilty, huh?" said Gibson, referring to the fact that Dawson took a pay cut after the 1986 season in leaving Montreal to sign with the Cubs. "Those were the kind of guys Sparky (Anderson) would talk to you about. 'You watch that guy.' I've gotten the opportunity to know and talk to him. He's a man of great character, and he wants to pass it on, too. He certainly belongs."
DIAMOND STAT: 37-26, 3.56 ERA, 586 1/3 innings, 570 strikeouts -- RHP Dan Haren's vital statistics in his 2 2/3 seasons with Arizona.
QUOTABLE: "To start the year and then get traded ... I never would have thought that. I had a lot of high expectations for me and our team this year." -- RHP Dan Haren, after being traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
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