The media just won't stop pounding this drum. Going back to last season, we've seen reports concerning prospective trades involving A's starter Joe Blanton. But now Dan Haren's name has continued to surface in a number of potential trade scenarios.
The latest is from Ken Rosenthal:
A's GM Billy Beane says he is undecided about the team's direction, but he could take a step back in order to go forward in preparation for the opening of the franchise's new ballpark in 2011.
Beane, always looking to exploit market inefficiencies, could take advantage of the weak crop of free-agent starting pitchers by trading one or both of his top right-handers, Dan Haren and Joe Blanton.
Blanton has gone 42-34 with a 4.09 ERA and averaged 208 innings in his first three full seasons — numbers that compare favorably with John Lackey's first three full seasons for the Angels.
Haren, meanwhile, started the All-Star Game in July and outpitched Santana over the full season. Unlike Santana, who is a year away from free agency, and Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard, who is two years away, Haren is under contract for three more seasons — and his salaries of $4 million, $5.5 million and $6.75 million (on a club option) make him highly affordable.
I understand that such a trade may yield a front-line bat that the A's sorely need, but I just can't see parting with Haren. In Haren, the A's have what I consider to be one of the elite starters in baseball, and he's under contract for the next three years. I suppose that Blanton - a work-horse who just wins - could fetch something on the open market, but I would hope that it's more than the preverbial "Lastings Milledge"; a guy who's becoming an alleged BB fantasy that rivals prior obsessions (see Erubial "the holy grail" Durazo, Kevin "the god of walks" Youkulis, heck, even Jack Cust).
I know that this has been discussed in the last few weeks, but I'd love to hear what AN has to say about the possibility/benefit/genious/stupidity of such a trade. Would anyone be willing to trade Haren? Blanton? Both? If so, to who and for what return?