Fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks have reason to be angry this evening.
Six days before the MLB trade deadline, another ace starting pitcher has been dealt, with Dan Haren getting moved for Arizona to the Los Angeles Angels, in a very obvious salary dump. The Angels surrender three pitchers, plus what's expected to be a fourth, Joe Saunders, a starter who isn't anything to write home about, mediocre reliever Rafael Rodriguez, young, but low-potential prospect Pat Corbin, and a player to be named later, expected to be starting pitcher prospect Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs, easily the most interesting player of the bunch, was drafted last year and signed less than one-year ago, meaning he can't be officially dealt until the one-year mark.
All of this for a true, reliable ace in Dan Haren, who was under a very reasonable contract until after 2013. Yes, the Diamondbacks clearly needed to shed salary, but this deal is just not a good one. It's almost impossible to imagine that this was the best possible offer the Diamondbacks had. Maybe they were enthralled with Joe Saunders and that one good season he had onto his team, or maybe they were worried that Haren's unimpressive, but mostly just unlucky, start to the year would hinder his value. Either way, it's a bad deal. Considering the massive package they sent to Oakland to acquire Haren a few years back, including players like big-time up-and-comers Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson, as well as Oakland's current top prospect, Chris Carter, to imagine that this is all they could get back must be very frustrating to a D'backs fan.
For the Angels, this is obviously a great grab for their team. The Angels are in a tough position to try and climb back in the race against the Texas Rangers this year, but with how easily they were able to acquire Haren, they still have the chance to dig into their farm system and deal some more promising prospects for a big bat. Haren and another star hitter, matched with a bit of good luck, and the Angels could find themselves back in the hunt before the season is done. And even if not, they'll still have Haren for at least two-years (there is a club-option for 2013), and can make some splashes in the off-season to get themselves back to the top of the AL West next season.
All in all, its a rough day for Diamondbacks fans, a great day for Angels fans, and the start of an exciting week for all baseball fans as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.