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Rumors: A Danny Haren Deal Still Alive

Mike SteffanosFriday, January 12, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

The baseball season gets closer, and I tend to agree with Joyce -- I just want them to play ball. Although this off-season hasn't been chock full of big name signings, it's been an adventure. Just when you thought that most of the hot stove brouhaha is over for the Mets, Gotham Baseball reports on a possible deal with the A's for Danny Haren:

According to a Bay Area-based baseball official, the Mets and A's "are finally discussing a deal that could send right-hander Danny Haren (not Rich Harden) to the Mets in return for Heilman, Lasting Milledge and a minor league pitcher".

"Yes, the A's are reluctant to deal Haren and would rather deal Blanton," said the official. "(But) the Mets really don't want to give up Milledge unless they get a No. 2, or a potential No. 1 starter in return."

Haren, who went 14-13 with a 4.12 ERA for the A's last season, is one of the most sought-after young starters in all of baseball, and if Minaya is able to land him, it would be an amazing coup. But will he be able to pull it off? The two clubs have talked swaps for several players over the last two years and have never found enough common ground -- or patience -- with each other to get a deal done. What makes this deal different.

"Minaya and Beane really wanted to have this deal done at the Winter Meetings, but for some reason, the Mets and A's could never seem to make the different parts work. I think they're past that stage now, and might be closer to something happening"

I guess rumors of a deal between the Mets and Athletics will never completely go away. If the Mets can land Haren for Milledge and Heilman they probably should do it. I guess for me it depends on the minor league pitcher. If it's going to be Pelfrey or Humber I think it's too much to give up. Also, I know there are a few out there who view Haren as a "No. 2, or a potential No. 1 starter", but I'm not one of them. I think his stuff projects to more of a solid #3. While prospects are always a risk, particularly pitchers, you'd be giving up a potential star in Milledge, a very solid and still relatively cheap young pitcher in Heilman, and in either Humber or Pelfrey a pitching prospect with more upside than Haren. I honestly feel that giving up Milledge and Heilman could possibly be too much, but in the current market for pitchers at least justifiable.

Anyway, we'll see if it happens. I'm so tired writing about possibilities after a winter of chasing Barry Zito and rumors such as this one. I want spring training to start and then get to watch some of those battles for the rotation jobs. Enough already...

I tried to finish my conclusion to the series I've written on the starting rotation late last night but couldn't make it. I've been under the weather again this week and it caught up with me. I'll get that up tonight or tomorrow. I've already started my research for the bullpen previews that will start Monday.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (7)

I agree, Milledge and Heilman plus is a bit too much. What else can Beane throw in(that the mets can use) for a third player from the Mets not named Humber, Pelfrey, Gomez, or Martinez. I know Beane is shrewd, and Omar is a good judge of talent, but Haren for Milledge and Heilman should be enough. Mets may be desperate for pitching, but for the A's to try and pull off "Grand Larceny" is definitely just wrong.

Two for one should be the max to get a pitcher of Haren's caliber for a player of Milledge's potential and one with Heilman's versatility. As L.J. intimates, a three for two would be fairer, if perhaps there was a good utility infielder in the A's system who was worth giving a shot (I have no idea whether there is). It's probably still overpaying, but it's overpaying I can live with.

Haren had a nice year in 2006, and pitched better than his 14-13 record indicates. In four starts before the All-star break, he got no-decisions for the following performances: eight innings, 1 run allowed; six shutout innings; six innings, 2 runs allowed;, seven innings, 1 run allowed. He was also tagged for losses in three games he mighta coulda won had he gotten more run support. A break here or there, and he'd have been close to 20 wins.

I'm also impressed by any starter with a 3 to 1 K to walk ratio, and that particular stat has improved for Haren in each successive year in the majors (it was nearly 4 to 1 last season). I'd vote to pull the trigger on this deal if it's 3 for 2, and the 2 are both useful to us.

Dan Haren would fit into our rotation pretty good,223ip and 176ks. I would put him in the 2nd slot with Hernandez and Maine to follow and let the best man win the 5th slot.
Glaven 15-7 198ip 3.82 131 k's
Haren 14-13 223ip 4.12 176 k's
Hernandez 11-11 162ip 4.66 164 k's
Maine 6-5 90ip 3.60 71 k's..... and let the best man win the 5th spot, and IF Pedro Martinez, (even with his 9-8 132ip 4.48 137 k's)comes back we look pretty good. BUT I agree to where do we draw the line in what we give up? Milledge and Hielman by itself is allot, any thing more should be very minor.

Milledge AND Heilman for Haren is too much. If they throw in Humber that is quite a steal for the A's. Haren isn't really a top of the rotation starter, he is good but not great. The Mets are a big market team with a shallow farm, they should be looking to take a contract from some team, trading money rather than the few talented players that they still possess.

L. J. - The other player is an interesting idea, but realistically Milledge and Heilman should be enough for Haren.
NostraDennis - Haren will be a solid #3 starter for a good club, no doubt. For the Mets he would probably be their second best starter this year.
Al - Again, it all comes down to what you have to give up.
Gehoff - With MLB flush with money and the value of pitching so high, I don't think you're going to see much of teams just unloading contracts. I could live with Milledge and Heilman for a solid guy like Haren, though I agree it's an overpayment it's still reasonable in today's pitching market.

It seems the Mets and A's have been in a perpetual negotiation for a pitching swap for the better part of the last 5 years. Pardon my skepticism here, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Salman - I share your skepticism, but I have to admit the Scott Schoeneweis signing makes me wonder if it doesn't have to do with dealing Heilman.

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