The Haren trade. . . .2 years on.

On December 14, 2007 the DBacks traded the 2nd Chris Carter, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Carlos Gonzalez & Greg Smith for Dan Haren & Connor Robertson in a blockbuster trade. Obviously Haren has been outstanding but after seeing Carter's name in Rob Neyer's column today, I thought I'd look at how the trade has worked out by the numbers.

OK, I started working on this post and my computer dumped on me so I'm going to abridge this some. All stats from fangraphs & baseball-reference

Let's look at the DBacks' side of the ledger 1st.

Dan Haren

2008 16-8  3.33 ERA   6.5 WAR
2009 14-10   3.14 ERA  6.1 WAR
2010 (proj) 16-9  3.38 ERA which sounds a lot like 6-6.5 WAR again

Connor Robertson - Robertson pitched 2008 for the DBacks and in the minors before being flipped for Scott Schoeneweis before this season. I believe the Dbacks just let Schoeneweis go after the season.

2008 MLB 0-1  5.14  ERA  -0.1 WAR
2009 (Schoeneweis) 1-2  7.13 ERA  -0.7 WAR

So that is 11.8 WAR over the last 2 seasons (12.6 for Haren & -0.8 from Robertson/Schoeneweis). How about the players traded for Haren?

Chris Carter - impressive minor league numbers and probably the reason the A's flipped Brett Wallace for Michael Taylor in the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee/prospects extravaganza

2008 A   596 PA  930 OPS
2009 AA-AAA  651 PA  992 OPS

Brett Anderson - 21 YO (22 for 2010) lefty starter who posted a 108 ERA+ last year. Impressive

2008 A-AA  11-5  3.69 ERA
2009 MLB  11-11  4.06 ERA  175 IP  3.8 WAR
2010 (proj) 11-10  3.76 ERA  189 IP  which sounds like a little over 4 WAR

Aaron Cunningham - decent enough minor league stats, not so much in the majors

2008 AA-AAA  490 PA  932 OPS
2008 MLB  87 PA  710 OPS  0.1 WAR
2009 AAA  375 PA  851 OPS
2009 MLB  57 PA  456 OPS (ouch!)   -0.5 WAR

Dana Eveland - 26 YO lefty starter

2008 AAA  3-0  2.57 ERA  21 IP
2008 MLB  9-9   4.34 ERA   168 IP   2.7 WAR
2009 AAA  8-6  4.94 ERA  124 IP
2009 MLB  2-4  7.16 ERA  44 IP  0.2 WAR
2010 MLB (proj)  2-3  4.69 ERA  48 IP

Carlos Gonzalez - Speedy, toolsy OF, CarGon made a national name for himself by having a monster NLDS (1514 OPS) this year for the Rockies after a very nice regular season (878 OPS). Tracking Gonzalez is trickier because after a disappointing 2008, the A's flipped him (& Greg Smith & Huston Street) for Matt Holliday  and then flipped Holliday for prospects (Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortenson & Shane Peterson) and then flipped Wallace for Michael Taylor, but I'll give it a shot.

2008 MLB (Gonzalez) 316 PA  634 OPS  0.8 WAR
2009 MLB (Holliday)  400 PA  831 OPS  3.0 WAR
2009 MLB (Mortenson) 2-4  7.81 ERA  27 IP  -0.1 WAR
2010 MLB (Mortenson - proj) 2-5  5.84 ERA  57 IP
2009 A-AA (Peterson) 571 PA  768 OPS
2009 AA-AAA (Taylor) 491 PA  944 OPS

Greg Smith - Another 26 YO lefty starter. As noted above, Smith was traded to Colorado in the Holliday deal

2008 MLB 7-16 4.16 ERA 190 IP 1.5 WAR


So adding it all up is tricky because to get Holliday, the A's gave up Huston Street who wasn't directly part of the Haren deal so I'll post it both without Street and subtracting Street's 2009 WAR of 1.5:

DBacks 11.8 WAR
A's 11.5 WAR
A's (minus Street) 10.0 WAR

I'm not going to dive into a WAR per $$$ analysis but roughing it out it's probably pretty even. The Dbacks have paid Haren $11.55M and the prospects have made next to nothing but Holliday made $13.5M last year (which was a partial year although I think the A's paid some of his salary for the Cards) so I'm guessing the salaries are pretty close.

Going forward though, this deal could start to tilt heavily in favor of the A's. Haren seems a good bet to be a 5-6 WAR pitcher for the next few years but Anderson is projected for 4+ WAR himself next year. Toss in 6 prospects (Taylor, Peterson, Mortenson, Eveland, Cunningham, Carter), some of whom seem to be good bets to be contributors this year and this starts to tilt in favor of the A's and that's before you get into salary considerations. If you assume the DBacks pick up Haren's 2013 option, he will make $49.25M over the next 4 years. I believe every single player for the A's makes MLB minimum and is under team control for at least 4 years. Even if they all made the roster and stayed on all 4 years, they would make a combined $9.6M. Now if any of them do well (like Anderson), they would be in line  for arbitration awards but not until 2012 at the earliest so the salary figure might go as high as $15M. The upside for the DBacks is the certainty factor - Haren is almost certain to be good next year, prospects are not quite so certain.

Haren has been fantastic and the DBacks are lucky to have him (and here's to a return to health by Webby and a big 1-2 punch at the front of the rotation) but let's acknowledge that they did pay a high price to acquire him. . . .

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