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Angels win Haren sweepstakes

Diamondbacks get 4 for their ace

Associated Press / July 26, 2010

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PHOENIX — Dan Haren was traded to the Los Angeles Angels by the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday for lefthander Joe Saunders and three other players.

The last-place Diamondbacks also get righthander Rafael Rodriguez, minor league pitcher Patrick Corbin, and a player to be named.

A three-time All-Star, Haren was one of the most prized pitchers available as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. He joins a Los Angeles rotation that is solid up front but is missing injured lefthander Scott Kazmir.

“A top-of-the-rotation guy that’s going to help us not just this year but years down the road,’’ Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. “The addition of Dan gives us five guys that are really talented.’’

It also counters a big move made recently by Texas, which beat the Angels last night, 6-4, to increase its lead in the AL West to seven games.

The Rangers acquired ace lefthander Cliff Lee July 9 for rookie first baseman Justin Smoak and a package of prospects.

“There are still opportunities out there. We’re not done trying to improve our club,’’ Reagins said.

Haren has averaged 15 wins over the past five seasons and is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this year.

“He’s a guy that we’ve tracked the last month or so and seen him pitch and his stuff is good,’’ Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “This is a huge opportunity for us to upgrade not only now but for the next several years. He’s definitely a guy who has pitched in big games. He has terrific stuff and he’s a young veteran.’’

Haren is in the second season of a four-year, $44.75 million contract with a club option for a fifth year. Scioscia wasn’t sure yet when the righthander would make his Angels debut.

“I believe his turn would be [today], but we’re going to evaluate a couple of things and get a chance to talk to him and see where he is,’’ the manager said. “We’ve got guys who are on regular turn now, so we do have the luxury of folding him in somewhere or putting him out there to pitch [today].’’

Saunders, an All-Star in 2008, was 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts for the Angels this year.

“I’ve been in trade talks in the offseason and stuff like that but you never really think it’s going to happen,’’ said Saunders, who lives in Arizona. “They obviously think highly of me, so it will be a new challenge.’’

Haren, who turns 30 in September, is due to make $12.75 million each of the next two seasons with a club option for $15.5 million in 2013.

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