Dan Haren: Dream Trade Post-Mortem

So Dan Haren was traded to a team that's not the Cardinals. A team that's the Angels, even. 

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I love Dan Haren, and I hated—always hated, even back when hating it was underground—the trade that sent Mark Mulder to the Cardinals. But Haren is signed to a contract that, while cheap, looks a lot like the one the Cardinals were unlucky enough to give Kyle Lohse right before their investments in subprime mortgages fell through. They've got to pay Albert Pujols year-after-next; everything they do between now and then is connected to that. 

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But the Cardinals wouldn't have had as much trouble affording the prospect cost of acquiring the Diamondbacks' ace as I'd expected. The Angels offered Joe Saunders, a cheap, average-ish starter with nice win-loss records; Rafael Rodriguez, an unimpressive relief prospect; Patrick Corbin, a fast-moving but low-minors starter; and a player to be named later, who is hopefully a better prospect than either of these guys.

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If the Cardinals were going to move on a pitcher, knowing what we do now about what the Diamondbacks were asking, it should have been Haren. But anybody would be a tough sell with the Cardinals' highest-paid player receiving a blank check. 

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