Getting Haren big coup for D-backs 

December, 15, 2007
Acquiring Dan Haren from the A's gives the Diamondbacks the No. 2 starter they thought they were getting last winter when they traded for Randy Johnson, and Arizona is now much better prepared to live without the Big Unit's services in 2008. Meanwhile, Oakland gets a headstart on its rebuilding process, including one high-ceiling hitting prospect and some interesting left-handed arms.

Haren is coming off a career year that saw him start the All-Star Game for the American League with a 2.30 ERA up to that point, but after the break he was more like he'd been in the previous two years, a very durable strike-thrower with a three-pitch arsenal but no knockout pitch. His four-seamer is 89-93 mph with just a little arm-side run, but he commands it well. His best secondary pitch is his splitter, 82-85 mph with good bottom, and it's particularly effective against left-handed hitters, which is important for Haren because he doesn't pitch well to his glove side. His curveball, 78-81 mph, is fringe-average with a somewhat soft break. He has good tempo and pounds the strike zone, and he's been very durable, making every start since he was traded to Oakland in the Mark Mulder heist before the 2005 season.

Haren will move from a great pitchers' park to a good hitters' park, so the home run tendency he shed in 2007 could return in 2008. Arizona also got a fringe bullpen arm in Connor Robertson, whom it could have had for free in October when Oakland placed him on outright waivers.