According to a report in The Daily News, the Yankees are moving on from Johan Santana for now and are, for some reason, turning their attention to Dan Haren. After days of negotiating with the Twins, the Yanks threw in the towel last night when Bill Smith wouldn’t, inexplicably, accept an offer of Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and someone else for one year of Johan Santana.
Mark Feinsand, relying on an anonymous sources, notes that the Twins couldn’t pull the trigger. “I just don’t think they were ready to do a deal,” his source said.
But more alarming is the news that the Yanks could turn their attention to Dan Haren. Here’s what Feinsand had to say:
According to a second source, the Yankees now plan to turn their attention toward Oakland starter Dan Haren, who is currently being shopped. Although the righthander, 27, isn’t as proven as Santana, 28, he is more attractive in a financial sense, as he is set to make $4 million in 2008 and $5.5 million in 2009 with a 2010 option for $6.75 million.
Oakland GM Billy Beane is said to be looking for a package of four players in exchange for Haren, with Hughes and Cabrera once again the likely centerpieces if the Yankees are to be serious players.
While I was warming up to the idea of trading Hughes for Santana, I cannot, under any circumstances, imagine a scenario where Dan Haren will be better than Phil Hughes over the next six seasons. Just say no to this trade.
Haren made his Major League debut at 22, and he’s developed into a pretty good pitcher at home in a gigantic pitcher’s park. He put together a very solid season last year – 15-9, 3.07, 192:55 K:BB in 222.2 IP – and will give a team around 220 innings every season. Notably, this season was a bit an outlier for Haren. He lowered his ERA by over a run from 2006 and outperformed his 90th PECOTA percentile. Until he does it again, I’m more inclined to view Haren s a pitcher who will turn out an ERA around 4.20 and a VORP of about 30.
Phil Hughes is just a better pitcher. Five years younger than Haren, their PECOTA profiles are already quite similar, and Hughes is going to get better. Hughes’ Minor League numbers are far superior to Haren’s; his stuff is far superior to Haren’s. For the price that the Yanks would pay – Hughes, Melky and others – they can maintain control of a pitcher who may already be better than Haren and will definitely be better than Haren by the end of the decade.
It’s not even close. We don’t need to see this debacle happen as a knee-jerk to losing out on Johan Santana. No Hughes-for-Haren trade.