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.
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?
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. . . .