Diamondbacks trade Dan Haren to Angels for package headed by Joe Saunders

The Diamondbacks have traded right-hander Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels for left-hander Joe Saunders, two minor league pitchers and a player to be named.

The trade was announced today during Arizona’s game against the Giants at Chase Field.

Right-hander Rafael Rodriguez and left-hander Patrick Corbin are the minor leaguers headed to Arizona along with Saunders. The Arizona Republic reports 19-year-old minor league left-hander Tyler Skaggs, an Angels supplemental-round choice last year, is the PTBN. Skaggs cannot officially be dealt until he has been in pro ball for a year. He signed last Aug. 7.

Dan Haren returns to the AL West with Sunday's trade to the Angels.
Dan Haren returns to the AL West with Sunday’s trade to the Angels.

Haren was one of the top available pitchers ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. L.A. was not considered one of the favorites to land him — the Yankees and the Phillies were — but it met one of Arizona’s reported conditions by providing a major league starter in return.

Angels general manager Tony Reagins told reporters Haren is "a top-of-the-rotation guy that’s going to help us not just this year but years down the road. … The addition of Dan gives us five guys that are really talented." Reagins spoke with reporters in Arlington, Texas, where the Angels were wrapping up a series against the AL West-leading Rangers. A loss Sunday night put L.A. seven games behind Texas in the division race. 

Angels manager Mike Scioscia echoed Reagins’ statements about the long-term aspect of the deal, and he noted that Haren knows about pitching in pennant races. He made seven postseason appearances with the Cardinals (2004) and A’s (2006).

"He’s definitely a guy who has pitched in big games. He has terrific stuff and he’s a young veteran," Scioscia said. "This guy still has his stuff and it gives us a deeper front end of our rotation and that’s what every championship-caliber team is really striving to do."

Los Angeles’ acquisition of Haren helps counter the Rangers’ recent pickup of left-hander Cliff Lee, and it’s the second move in four days for the Halos. They acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Royals on Thursday.

And, Reagins said he isn’t done trying to add pieces. "There are still opportunities out there. We’re not done trying to improve our club," he said. FOXSports.com reported Sunday night the Angels may be looking at Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Pirates first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones.

Haren, 29, is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this season. He leads the National League with 141 strikeouts. Saunders, 29, is 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts. Rodriguez appeared in one game for the Angels this season. Corbin was pitching for advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League.

Haren is signed through 2012, at $12.75 million per year, and his contract also includes a $15.5 million club option for 2013 ($3.5 million buyout). He is making $8.25 million this year.

Arizona gets back an established starter, Joe Saunders, for Haren.
Arizona gets back an established starter, Joe Saunders, for Haren.

Saunders will be under the D-backs’ control through 2012. He is earning $3.7 million in 2010 and will be eligible for arbitration in the offseason.

"(Saunders) brings an element to our club that I think we need," Arizona interim GM Jerry DiPoto told reporters. "The prospects in the deal bring us talent that we need to build with. Therefore, I felt that this deal checked a lot of boxes for the Arizona Diamondbacks."

Saunders took a positive approach to leaving a contender for a team that’s on the road to rebuilding.

"I’ve been in trade talks in the offseason and stuff like that but you never really think it’s going to happen," said Saunders, who lives in Arizona. "They obviously think highly of me, so it will be a new challenge."

Haren, a Southern California native, had said he’d prefer to remain on the West Coast if the D-backs were to trade him.

"This point in my career, being on the West Coast has a lot of value for me," Haren told reporters after learning of the trade. "Being near family and going to a ballclub that’s dedicated to winning not just this year but for a lot of years, I’m very excited for the opportunity."

Haren also returns to the AL West; he pitched three seasons with Oakland (2005-07) before being traded to Arizona in December of  ’07.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

The Diamondbacks have traded right-hander Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels for left-hander Joe Saunders, two minor league pitchers and a player to be named.

The trade was announced today during Arizona’s game against the Giants at Chase Field.

Right-hander Rafael Rodriguez and left-hander Patrick Corbin are the minor leaguers headed to Arizona along with Saunders. The Arizona Republic reports 19-year-old minor league left-hander Tyler Skaggs, an Angels supplemental-round choice last year, is the PTBN. Skaggs cannot officially be dealt until he has been in pro ball for a year. He signed last Aug. 7.

Dan Haren returns to the AL West with Sunday's trade to the Angels.
Dan Haren returns to the AL West with Sunday’s trade to the Angels.

Haren was one of the top available pitchers ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. L.A. was not considered one of the favorites to land him — the Yankees and the Phillies were — but it met one of Arizona’s reported conditions by providing a major league starter in return.

Angels general manager Tony Reagins told reporters Haren is "a top-of-the-rotation guy that’s going to help us not just this year but years down the road. … The addition of Dan gives us five guys that are really talented." Reagins spoke with reporters in Arlington, Texas, where the Angels were wrapping up a series against the AL West-leading Rangers. A loss Sunday night put L.A. seven games behind Texas in the division race. 

Angels manager Mike Scioscia echoed Reagins’ statements about the long-term aspect of the deal, and he noted that Haren knows about pitching in pennant races. He made seven postseason appearances with the Cardinals (2004) and A’s (2006).

"He’s definitely a guy who has pitched in big games. He has terrific stuff and he’s a young veteran," Scioscia said. "This guy still has his stuff and it gives us a deeper front end of our rotation and that’s what every championship-caliber team is really striving to do."

Los Angeles’ acquisition of Haren helps counter the Rangers’ recent pickup of left-hander Cliff Lee, and it’s the second move in four days for the Halos. They acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Royals on Thursday.

And, Reagins said he isn’t done trying to add pieces. "There are still opportunities out there. We’re not done trying to improve our club," he said. FOXSports.com reported Sunday night the Angels may be looking at Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Pirates first baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones.

Haren, 29, is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this season. He leads the National League with 141 strikeouts. Saunders, 29, is 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts. Rodriguez appeared in one game for the Angels this season. Corbin was pitching for advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League.

Haren is signed through 2012, at $12.75 million per year, and his contract also includes a $15.5 million club option for 2013 ($3.5 million buyout). He is making $8.25 million this year.

Arizona gets back an established starter, Joe Saunders, for Haren.
Arizona gets back an established starter, Joe Saunders, for Haren.

Saunders will be under the D-backs’ control through 2012. He is earning $3.7 million in 2010 and will be eligible for arbitration in the offseason.

"(Saunders) brings an element to our club that I think we need," Arizona interim GM Jerry DiPoto told reporters. "The prospects in the deal bring us talent that we need to build with. Therefore, I felt that this deal checked a lot of boxes for the Arizona Diamondbacks."

Saunders took a positive approach to leaving a contender for a team that’s on the road to rebuilding.

"I’ve been in trade talks in the offseason and stuff like that but you never really think it’s going to happen," said Saunders, who lives in Arizona. "They obviously think highly of me, so it will be a new challenge."

Haren, a Southern California native, had said he’d prefer to remain on the West Coast if the D-backs were to trade him.

"This point in my career, being on the West Coast has a lot of value for me," Haren told reporters after learning of the trade. "Being near family and going to a ballclub that’s dedicated to winning not just this year but for a lot of years, I’m very excited for the opportunity."

Haren also returns to the AL West; he pitched three seasons with Oakland (2005-07) before being traded to Arizona in December of  ’07.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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