Haren trade looks even better with return of Joe Saunders

Jan 18, 2012, 1:04 AM | Updated: 1:45 am

In the wake of the Arizona Diamondbacks re-signing Joe
Saunders to a one-year, $6 million deal, D-backs fans seem
to be satisfied with their pitching staff. However, when
Saunders first came over from the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim, fans were not pleased with the trade that brought
him to Arizona.

In July 2010, Arizona sent Dan Haren to the Angels for
Saunders and minor-leaguers Rafael Rodriguez, Patrick
Corbin and Tyler Skaggs. A majority of fans were upset
with the decision because Haren had pitched well for the
Diamondbacks — posting ERAs of 3.33 and 3.14 ERAs in ’08
and ’09 — and making two All-Star games.

Now, though, Saunders has proven himself to Valley fans as
a staple in the pitching rotation. He finished 2011 with a
12-13 record and a 3.69 ERA in his 33 starts. He struck
out 108 batters for the season and gave up 210 hits.

What about the other pieces in the trade? The D-backs took
three minor league pitchers from the Angels hoping to add
potential to Arizona’s future, and two appear to be
everything the D-backs wanted — and possibly more.

Corbin pitched in 26 games for the Mobile Bay Bears in
2011 and posted a 9-8 record and a 4.21 ERA. The 22-year-
old left-hander struck out 142 while walking 40 walks and
giving up 172 hits.

Skaggs, 20, also pitched for the Double-A Mobile Bay
Bears. He was 4-1 in his 10 games ending the season with a
2.50 ERA. He fanned 73 and gave up 45 hits. He’s getting
noticed nationally as a top prospect from helping his
minor league club win the Southern League title.

As for Haren, the right-hander was 16-10 in 2011 with the
Angels and tossed three shutouts, adding his career total
of five. His ERA was 3.17 and ranked 7th in the 2011
American League Cy Young vote.

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Haren trade looks even better with return of Joe Saunders