Talk is rampant on the trade front with the New York Yankees already formidable starting rotation getting much stronger.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who have been resistant to trading Dan Haren unless they received multiple major league talents in return, have softened their stance on the durable right-hander.
Just yesterday I posted a piece on my own site which stated the Diamondbacks need to accept less than what they gave up. Times have changed in the two plus years since Haren was shipped to the desert from Oakland.
Teams just hold on the their young, cheap talent in today's game, especially their young pitching. And unless your farm system is brimming with good, young talent many teams are not willing to give up their young pitching.
Enter the New York Yankees at stage left with Brian Cashman as the plays director.
Talk was that the Diamondbacks would only accept three major league arms for Haren, but has since now agreed to accept prospects instead if they can get at least one major league ready starting pitcher.
But the prospects need to be pitchers, too.
That is also in the Yankees benefit as they have high ceiling arms throughout their sytem from Triple-A Scranton (Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova) to Low-A Charleston, where Jose Ramirez' plus change up makes him a force.
By major league ready arm for their rotation, the Diamondbacks are interested in Joba Chamberlain and converting him back into a starting pitcher.
While that argument had been talked about ad nauseum, many teams do value Joba as a starting pitcher. If part of the deal, that argument goes with the player out west.
Talk radio in New York will certainly suffer quite a bit without Joba to kick around.
As far as the minor league arms go, if I were the Diamondbacks, I would require a couple arms which they could possibly have in the rotation by next year, if not now.
Two arms the Yankees could part with (and have been talked about) are those Triple-A right-handed starting pitchers mentioned earlier, McAllister and Nova.
McAllister was already the key arm in the deal which fell through for Seattle's Cliff Lee a few weeks ago, and Nova has blossomed into a good young starting pitcher. While the 22-year-old McAllister has struggled somewhat in this, his first Triple A season, the 23-year-old Nova has made the transition very smoothly.
The former Rule Five pitcher which San Diego returned was now on more teams radar this year. His is also on the Yankee radar...as a major trade chip.
Haren would make the Yankees better right now, and the Yankees would not be giving up any pitcher who is in their starting rotation plans for next season, or one of their top minor league arms.
The Yankees can make this type of trade because they can afford Haren's contract, which runs for three more years including the option, and they have the chips to ante up for the big pot.
We're all in!
What this trade does is make the Yankees an even more formidable team in the post season. A four man rotation of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Dan Haren, and whoever is pitching better between AJ Burnett or Javier Vazquez (likely Burnett based upon money).
Second, it also gets Phil Hughes out of the rotation after a few more starts to take Joba's place in the bullpen for the remainder of this season. He would, of course, return to the Yankee rotation next year.
Innings limits are at it again!
Third, it might negate the Yankees obtaining Cliff Lee next off season. However, I wouldn't put it past the Yankees to also go out and sign Lee for the ultimate rotation next season.
Imagine Sabathia, Lee, Haren, Burnett, and Hughes. Not a bad rotation, unless your name is David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Andrew Brackman, or Adam Warren.
Earlier in the week, I wrote that I was against trading for Haren and would rather have gone with a younger guy in the role of replacing Andy Pettitte in the rotation.
However, looking at the actual proposed deal leads me to believe this is in the best interest for the Yankees. They get a top of the rotation type starting pitcher as their third starter.
And they do not give up any of their top minor league starting pitching talent. Even though McAllister and Nova are in Triple-A, they were at the top of the pecking order, but not the top pitching prospects in the Yankee system.
I am a fan of McAllister's but like Adam Warren a lot, too. Nova has been really good, but I like Hector Noesi at Double-A Trenton more.
The best thing for Joba Chamberlain might be to get traded to an organization which recognizes his starting pitcher capabilities.
As for McAllister the trade would be a relief. His father is a cross-checker for the Diamondbacks organization. He acts as a scout for the scouts, verifying what an area scout sees in certain players.
I am confident he gave the thumbs up for his son and Nova.
Both young guys would get to the major leagues in a regular role far earlier than they would in pinstripes, without all the scrutiny.
I believe Haren would pick up his game in a new, winning environment and the Yankee fans would see the Dan Haren of 2005-2009, not the so-so pitcher of this season.
Obtaining Haren would give the Yankees a great rotation for this postseason and for the next couple seasons.
With McAllister and Nova pawns in the Yankee system, and plenty more arms on the way, this deal is basically Joba for Haren straight up, with a couple side dishes for flavor enhancement.
Do the deal Brian, it gives you a better chance of getting you another World Series ring very quickly.