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.