Addressing Yankee trade rumors: Dan Haren and Zack Greinke

Rumors of a potential Dan Haren trade have been swirling for weeks, but they have kicked up a notch recently, with the Yankees listed as one of the potential trade partners. I have been doubting New York’s true interest in Haren, but the latest rumors say that if Arizona wants to talk prospects instead of ML ready players, talks with New York would heat up. So let me break down a potential trade between the two teams.

First off, let me start by saying Dan Haren is an awesome pitcher. Here are his WAR numbers starting from 2005 to 2009: 4.0, 4.0, 4.9, 6.5, and 6.1. He’s a pretty good pitcher as you can tell. His career numbers include a 3.69 FIP, 3,61 xFIP, 3.99 tERA, 7.74 K/9, 1.97 BB/9, and 1.07 HR/9. That’s quite filthy. But 2010 has been a quasi-down year for Haren. While he is sporting a career best 9.00 K/9 and has a 1.85 BB/9, his home run rate has exploded. Currently it is 1.47 HR/9 which has led to a 3.92 FIP. On the bright side, his xFIP is 3.31 and his rest of season projection gives him a 3.27 FIP. His periphs indicate that he has been just fine.

So lets project him going forward. A 2.0 WAR the rest of the way, including the playoffs, is a plausible figure. At a 2010 market rate per win of $4, that gives him $8mil in value for 2010. Being conservative, lets project him to have a 5.0 WAR next season, with a 0.5 decrease each season thereafter. So in 2012 his WAR will be 4.5 and in 2013 it will be 4.0. For those seasons let say the market rate per win is $4.4mil. 4.4 x 13.5 = $59.4mil. Add in his $8mil in value for 2010 and you get a total value of $67.4mil. But through 2013, if his option is picked up, he will be owed $44mil. Subtract that from $67.4 and you get a total value of $23.4mil*.

*I didn’t adjust for inflation, but that shouldn’t hinder the results too much. And I did not tack on value for draft picks after the 2013 season, since I can’t say for sure he will be a Type A or B free agent, and plus the value of prospects can change over the next three seasons.

So that means the D-Backs should expect about $23mil-$24mil in return value. That instantly rules Jesus Montero out of the question. If you consider Austin Romine a top 26-50 hitting prospect, which many do, then he is worth $23.4mil on the dot. In reality would Arizona trade for Austin Romine straight up? I doubt it. A prized prospect (although I don’t see why) is Eduardo Nunez. A package with similar level prospects (Nunez/McAllister/Laird?) might be able to seal the deal, but again, I don’t see Arizona going for that. In the end, I think if the Yankees end up acquiring Haren, they will overpay to do so.

But is Haren even worth it? For 2010, he will help. With Pettitte out until September, he would be a significant upgrade over Sergio Mitre as a member of the starting rotation. Plus, he would still be in pinstripes for at least two more years and figure to be our #2 pitcher behind CC Sabathia. Haren is a stud with an affordable contract, so I’d be glad to have him. However, his HR rate in NYS might not be pretty and the move to the AL East might hurt his numbers. If the price is right, I’d be all for a Haren trade. If not, we can win in 2010 without him, and other options will be available in the next two years as well.

Another interesting trade rumor is Zack Greinke. Apparently, the Royals have no untouchables on their team- Greinke included. While the Yankees have not been linked in trade talks with the Royals, I would imagine Cashman is at least calling and kicking the tires. And he better be.

Greinke is one of the only players in baseball who I would trade a kings ransom for. He was ranked #20 on Dave Cameron’s recent “Trade Value” series and is a year removed from a Cy Young season. He is just 26 and has a fantastic, below market rate contract. If he posts a 2 WAR the rest of the way in 2010, a 6 WAR in 2011, and 5.5 WAR in 2012, I have his total value at $58.6mil. Subtract $29.5mil for his contract through 2012 and he has a total value of $29.1mil. But also factor in he will be a 28 year old pitcher at the end of 2012, entering his prime. If he is on the Yankees before then, you know they will sign him long term. So he would be worth way more than $29.1mil.

Jesus Montero would head the package for Greinke. Maybe even Joba Chamberlain as well. Greinke is THAT good. I probably would trade Montero and Chamberlain for a 26 year old Cy Young worthy pitcher. I don’t know how much further I’d go, but you could put the AL Pennant on lock down mode for the next few seasons. CC/Greinke/Hughes- yawn.

Know, I know about his mental health, but he should be just fine pitching in NYC. I doubt the Bronx environment will suddenly cause him to walk batters and forget how to throw a baseball. Maybe he might need to adjust at first to a new atmosphere, but he is not going to lose his talent. As a professional, he still goes to big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as a visitor and he performs well there. I have enough confidence in him to trade Montero and other highly regarded players for his services.

In the end, I doubt the Yankees make a trade for either pitcher (especially Greinke) but I’m covering the bases, just in case.

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2 Comments on “Addressing Yankee trade rumors: Dan Haren and Zack Greinke”

  1. briprat Says:

    You’re pretty quick to dismiss Greinke’s anxiety issues. He really struggled with those issues, the media and fans in NY are like no other. I doubt he would want to go to NY. I think he’s a competitor and wants to win, but I don’t get the feeling that he’s drying to leave KC.
    I think Tampa Bay is one of the few teams that have the young prospects needed to pry Greinke away from KC.

  2. […] too long ago I addressed a potential Dan Haren trade to New York and broke down Haren’s value. I said he would bring a team about $23.4mil in value. So how did Arizona make out? Well, they got […]

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