Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Haren Heads South

News that Dan Haren won’t be making a trip to the North Coast (and neither will AZ closer Jose Valverde) has hit as Arizona re-tools their team in an attempt at making an extended run by dealing some of their depth to upgrade the team by acquiring Haren, Chad Qualls, and Chris Burke, among others.

According to numerous media outlets, the D-Backs and the Tribe were the two main suitors for the young Oakland RHP and it appears that the inclusion (or exclusion, depending upon your point of view) of Asdrubal Cabrera in the deal was the stumbling block. Unfortunately, we’ll never know and be relegated to conjecture and rumor over what the Indians offered Billy Beane for Haren.

There’s no question that Oakland got what they were seeking in the deal from Arizona as they received a young, high-level, close to MLB talent in Carlos Gonzalez (think AstroCab for us), a decent starter who will compete for the Oakland rotation this year in Dana Eveland (Sowers on a lesser scale), a highly-thought of SP prospect who will probably contribute in Oakland at some point this season in Brett Anderson (think Miller or Laffey if you’re high on Laffey), a high-ceiling, low level hitter in Chris Carter (who was acquired from the White Sox for Carlos Quentin, by the by) who would compare to a player like Nick Weglarz (though younger than Carter), a young, high OBP OF in Aaron Cunningham (who did post a .939 OPS in A ball and a .898 OPS in AA last year as a 21-year-old) and another young pitcher in Greg Smith, a 23-year-old reliever who struggled in his first exposure to AAA in 2007.

So, the comparable package for the Tribe is Cabrera, Sowers, Miller, Weglarz, a young AA/AAA reliever like Jeff Stevens, and a A/AA young OF with good OBP and speed like a (sorry, but this is another comparable that the Tribe would have in their system) Trevor Crowe.

So to put it in perspective – that would be Cabrera, Sowers, Miller, Weglarz, Stevens, and Crowe for Haren and a middling middle reliever in Connor Robertson. Looks like quite a haul when compared to prospects you’ve heard of, right?

Don’t think that the A’s didn’t get quality AND quantity as the Diamondbacks gave up their (according to Baseball America just last week) #1 prospect in Gonzalez, their #3 in Anderson, #7 in Cunningham, and #8 in Carter.

With that all in mind, I wonder what the Indians’ final offer was?
How did it compare to the haul from Arizona?
Was Cabrera ever in play?
Was Gutierrez’s name ever bandied about?

Sadly, we’ll never know as that type of information just never makes it out for public consumption. But wouldn’t it be great if there were some timeframe after which trade offers became “declassified” so they could be looked at by the public? Haven’t you always wondered, after a trade does or doesn’t go down, what the offers on the table were and what ended up being the stumbling blocks?

Think about the possibilities for the Indians of the past 10 years alone:
What did Montreal ask for from the Indians for Pedro Martinez?
What players prevented the Tribe for consummating the deal?
Was it Jaret Wright?

Was Jose Reyes included in the prospect list that the Indians chose from in the Roberto Alomar deal to the Mets?
If he was, who did the Indians choose instead of him?
If he wasn’t, did the Tribe ask about him in any counter-offer?

What other offers were on the table for the Indians for Bartolo Colon?
Who did they ultimately choose Grady Sizemore over in terms of lower level prospects?
What are those players doing now?

What absurd weather balloons to teams float out there for the elite players?
Do GM’s exchange e-mails like Fantasy Baseball owners, just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks?

I could read this kind of stuff for hours to see what could have been, what almost was, and what disagreements held up certain deals and how they looked in retrospect. Imagine Pedro Martinez on the Tribe for (what we see now) as the paltry price of Jaret Wright and others.

Regardless, the events of yesterday are done and Haren is heading to the desert as Indians’ fans sit and wonder what could have been and imagine scenarios and trade packages that prevented what simply did not happen.

Off to get a Christmas Tree as the snow hits that promises to keep me and my shovel busy for a while.


dieseldave said...

would you have made that trade if you had to give up Cabrera, Sowers, Miller, Weglarz, Stevens, and Crowe for Haren????????? maybe we can go after Street or Blanton ,but this is sounds like a lot of high level prospects for talent

indian inkslinger said...

Once I saw the Arizona prospects that were traded away, I was pleased that Shapiro didn't try to match the Arizona deal. I am not even sure that Haren would have improved the Tribe in the short haul and have no doubts that the Indians are better off long term by not pulling the trigger on this deal.