The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired the Oakland A's ace, Dan Haren, for a boatload of their prospects. The team also dealt UT Alberto Callaspo and their closer, Jose Valverde. This makes December 14, 2007, quite a busy day the the Diamondbacks.
- OF Carlos Gonzalez, LHP Brett Anderson, OF Aaron Cunningham, 1B Chris Carter, LHPs Greg Smith and Dana Eveland for Dan Haren and Connor Robertson.
- Royals AAA pitcher Billy Buckner for UT Alberto Callaspo
- Astros' Chad Qualls, Chris Burke and RHP Juan Gutierrez for closer Jose valverde.
Under that assumption, the A's did a great job adding elite talent to a relatively barren farm system. Gonzalez, Cunningham and Carter could help the team open their new stadium in a few years and still have several years under the A's control to keep selling seats.
While Jose Valverde had gaudy closing numbers last season, his price tag will continue to rise in his arbitration years espeically given the new standard for closers - $10MM per season. There is no reason to believe the D'backs can't turn any of the players they received into a closer (Qualls) or use to obtain a player who could become a closer (Burke and Gutierrez).
The Astros seem Hell-bent on competing in 2008. After emptying a fallow system for a declining Miguel Tejada, the team traded a reliever who could have closed for an established closer and added a 0-3 major league player along with a pitching prospect for that experience. It seems to be quite a steep price for the team who may be the pre-2008 Baltimore Orioles of the National League very quickly.