Unless PTBNL is a stud, the D’Backs were fleeced in the Dan Haren trade

Arizona Diamondbacks' starting pitcher Dan Haren throws a pitch to the New York Yankees in the third inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Phoenix, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

With a player left to be named later as part of the deal, there’s still time for the Diamondbacks to even out the trade they struck with the Angels, who acquired starter Dan Haren on Sunday.

But as the deal currently stands now, the D’Backs were fleeced.

Haren is a 29-year-old front-of-the-rotation starter who is under team control through the 2013 season. The Angels aren’t getting a rental player here – they acquired a legitimate ace that should dramatically improve their team over the next three seasons, assuming Haren doesn’t go Scott Kazmir on them.

In exchange for Haren, Arizona received lefties Joe Saunders and Patrick Corbin, righty Rafael Rodriguez and a player to be named later. That’s the epitome of “meh” in deal that netted one team an ace pitcher.

Saunders was outstanding in 2008, but his 2010 numbers (4.62 ERA in 20 starts) appear to be his norm. He’s more of a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, but in Arizona he’ll likely be viewed as the ace.

Corbin is a fringe reliever, while Rodriguez is a prospect that probably won’t be able to help the club until 2013. And even then, he doesn’t project as a stud in the long-term.

Granted, there’s always more going on in a trade like this than what meets the eye – and I’m not just talking about the PTBNL. Just one example is what the D’Backs do with the money they saved by trading Haren. If their front office gets creative and can help this team get back into contention in 2012 or 2013, then maybe we’ll look back on this trade as one of the components to making that happen. And who knows, maybe the PTBNL will help the D’Backs win in the long-term, where as Haren (who has been struggling this year remember) may have only played the star on a bad team for three more years and then bolted via free agency.

Arizona fans have the right to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to this trade. Maybe it’ll wind up being more even in the end when we look back. But on the surface, L.A. definitely got the better end of the deal. Considering what they gave up, it’s hard to believe that another team didn’t put together a more attractive package and stole Haren for the stretch run.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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