Haren Off the Market

The Diamondbacks acquired Danny Haren and RHP Connor Robertson from the A’s in exchange for pitchers Brett Anderson, Greg Smith, and Dana Eveland, OFs Carlos Gonzalez and Aaron Cunningham and 1B Chris Carter.

In a separate deal, the Diamondbacks sent RHP Jose Valverde to the Astros in exchange for IF Chris Burke and RHPs Chad Qualls and Juan Gutierrez.

OK, the D’Backs gave up more than the Mets could have afforded to — have to hand it to them. It looks like they’re going for the gusto in ’08, though the Valverde deal has me a bit miffed. After a career year of 47 saves, I would understand cashing in on his value, but I don’t see Burke, Qualls, and Gutierrez as a worthy package in this market for a guy who saved nearly 50 games. After all, Burke is either a poor-hitting centerfielder or an average-hitting second baseman; Qualls is a good setup man in the Aaron Heilman mold but who started to slip a bit in 2007; and Gutierrez is a questionable 24-year-old pitching prospect — perhaps not even on par with Phil Humber. That’s all it took to get the NL saves leader?

Personally, I’ve never been fond of Valverde and fully expect him to fall back to earth next year, but the D’backs now do not have a closer — unless they think Qualls will fit the bill — and they seemingly could have received a better package. Hopefully I’m right, and though AZ will have monster starting pitching, their bullpen will be full of holes.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude December 14, 2007 at 7:23 pm
    The D’backs seem to be going all-in with pitching for 2008. Webb and Haren are nasty, Davis and Owings are solid, and if the Unit is healthy, watch out. Quite the starting 5. Their offense is young and inecxerienced, but certainly they will put the motto “pitching and defense win championships” to the test.

    I don’t believe the Mets could have or should have matched this offer for Haren. After some amateuristic research on baseball-reference.com, I equate the six players obtained by Oakland as being equal to the Mets trading F-Mart, Gomez, Brett Harper, Mulvey, Humber, and Vargas. Though I wouldn’t be against sending that package of pitchers, it would be surrendering our 2 best offensive prospects that would turn me away. That’s a package we’re not even in support of sending Minnesota for Johan, so forget about Haren.

    Arizona sacrifices their closer in a side deal with Houston, but I’m sure someone else in their pen will emerge as a viable closing option. Qualls is pretty much just as reliable as Valverde, if not as flashy, and Burke gives them good insurance in case Hudson can’t recover from hand surgery. And so, here’s another team that’s bolstering their club this offseason while the Mets are doing a whole lot of nothing. I’m not saying to trade the farm for Bedard or Johan, but DO SOMETHING that gives us hope that 2008 will be an improvement over 2007. Nothing done by Omar this winter thus far has made me a re-believer.

  2. Micalpalyn December 14, 2007 at 7:43 pm
    1. I agree with Isu. That is a huge cost. Frankly I dont think Haren warrants that return. This is the second fleecing this week. But in defense THIS is what Arizona AND Hou (and Oak) have done this millenium; draft high, groom prospects, get close then go for broke.

    2. I agree again that NO way we give up Gomez and F-Mart.

    3. at this point my expectations are falling. I’d settle for Silva and Towers at the back end of my rotation.

  3. sincekindergarten December 15, 2007 at 8:14 am
    I’d settle for signing Mark Prior. Some work with The Jacket might be able to turn him into a serviceable starter who can avoid the injuries he’s had over the years.

    Also, ID, I think that the Mets have a pretty good team as they stand today. It’s the attitude of the team that’s changed. Last year, I heard that they felt as if the NL East title was predestined to be theirs. Well, they didn’t back up their bluster, and Jimmy Rollins backed up his. I really think that the addition of Rickey Henderson to the coaching staff screwed up Jose Reyes–and if the top of the lineup is screwed up, the ripple effect down through the order, well, we saw that. Let’s remember that the Braves lost Andruw Jones, who has had monster years after poor years in the past, and the Phillthies lost both Randy Wolf (didn’t he do well against the Mets?) and Aaron Rowand. Going back to the Braves, I don’t see Glavine doing all that well against the Mets this year. Let’s see . . . Met-killers Miggy Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis are out of the NL, too.

    Plus, Omar’s right about Ollie and Johnny Maine, IMO–they’re going to have better years than they did last year, when they both won 15 games. Why? Pedro. The influence that Pedro will have on those two will give the Mets another win or two from each. It’s one thing for Ollie to hear about keeping his arm slot and staying on top of the ball from Willie and The Jacket; it’s another to hear it from someone else on the staff, and in two languages. They’re cut from the same bolt of cloth. They’re both emotional guys. Ollie will win 17+; Pedro feels that he has something to prove, and he’ll win 15. John Maine will turn to Pedro for counsel in pitching, and he’ll win at least 15. Finally, Mike Pelfrey will continue the stretch he had over his last five starts at the end of ’07. He’ll shock a few people.

    We’ll be alright. I’ve had my doubts over the past two weeks, but when I sit back and look at all of this, we’ve got a pretty good team.

  4. joe December 15, 2007 at 8:24 am
    I have to agree that was too much of a package to get Haren — I would not have been in favor of trading away our two top OF prospects.

    But echoing what isuzude said … how about we do SOMETHING?

    At least sign Silva, or make a play for Prior, or bring on Dotel or Matt Wise. Yes the attitude has changed but the pitching has not, and the Mets will need more pitching with Brian Schneider at the bottom of the lineup.