The Angels are in danger of falling out of the playoff race and this trade may have been a panic move. Los Angeles is well back of Texas in the American League West and the Rangers are considered the stronger team in baseball odds at the online bookmaker.
Bookmaker odds favor the Rangers to win the AL West. The Angels have been the team to beat in the division but after the Rangers took three of four this past week that is no longer the case. The Angels gave up a lot to get Haren and the trade may not end up being a good one. Los Angeles gave up pitcher Joe Saunders, two minor league pitchers and a player to be named later.
Haren has not been that good this season but he is a three-time All-Star and the Angels believe that he will regain his top form with them. He has averaged 15 wins over the past five seasons. This season he was up and down as he led the National League in strikeouts but he also had allowed more hits than any other pitcher. What Haren can give the Angels that Saunders did not is unclear. Saunders took the trade really hard since he has been with the Angels since his career began. The Diamondbacks also received reliever Rafael Rodriguez, left-hander Patrick Corbin and the player to be named later is expected to be top prospect Tyler Skaggs.
The Angels gave up a lot to get Haren but they at least they will have him through 2012. The Angels will have to pay Haren $12.75 million next season and the same amount of money in 2012. This is the second year of a four-year, $44.75 million contract for Haren. Bookmaker stats indicate that this season Haren is just 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA.
Saunders was an All-Star two years ago for the Angels. He has struggled a bit this season going 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts. Online bookmaker numbers indicate that he had a 54-32 record and 4.29 ERA in 115 games with the Angels. The Angels now don’t have a left-hander in their rotation until Scott Kazmir returns.