Cardinals Focused On Westbrook, Haren

The Cardinals are trying to acquire a starting pitcher, wrote Ed Price of AOL FanHouse last night, and they're focused on Jake Westbrook and Dan Haren.

Recently we summed up the market for both pitchers.  Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ten days ago that he expected to "shy from a rental deal that requires us to give up a ton of talent."  Neither Westbrook nor Haren fits that description, so it makes sense that they'd be in play for newly-extended GM John Mozeliak. 


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52 Comments on "Cardinals Focused On Westbrook, Haren"


moonraker45
5 years 7 days ago

would make this a deadly rotation

JohnOrpheus
5 years 7 days ago

Maybe Westbrook wouldn’t require a ton of talent to aquire, but Haren would take basically the entire Cards farm system, and probably some major league talent. Shelby Miller and Ryan Ludwick might do it, but who wants to give that up? Not to mention Haren’s contract would make Pujols unaffordable. I’d love to see Haren in the Cards rotation, but it would cost way too much.

rayking
5 years 7 days ago

In my humble opinion, that is an excellent guess as to what the D’Backs would require for Haren. My initial reaction to the Haren rumors was that we don’t have the minor league talent to get it done, but Miller and Ludwick should indeed be enough. That would require that the Cards have both 1) a lot of faith in Craig/Jay in RF and 2) a willingness to jack the payroll to astronomical heights (for the Cards) to keep Pujols.

They only should pull the trigger on such a deal if they are ready to break the bank bigtime for Albert (even more than they are going to need to do already).

aap212
5 years 7 days ago

Ludwick isn’t a valuable chip for a team that isn’t playing for this year or next. There have to be other young players in there. Miller, Sanchez, etc. Miller and one veteran is not enough.

rayking
5 years 7 days ago

Just because the D’Backs are willing to trade Haren doesn’t mean that they want to blow up the team – the NL West is a revolving door each year, and I don’t see them completely blowing things up.

Of course, I am only speculating, but I would guess that they want a mix of major league ready talent and prospects. Maybe Ludwick isn’t the best fit as the major league ready talent, but I don’t see them accepting only prospects for Haren, no matter how good those prospects are.

aap212
5 years 7 days ago

I’m also extremely bearish on Ludwick. He’s a nice player, but he’s 32, and if you look at his Baseball-Reference similar players, he’s exactly the sort of guy whose expiration date might be now-ish.

rayking
5 years 7 days ago

Ouch – seeing Bubba Trammell and Glenallen Hill in those similar player lists does indicate that I hold Luddy in too high regard. Touche!

aap212
5 years 7 days ago

Hey, it doesn’t mean he’s not a useful player right now. Just not a good trade target for a young team. Want to give Josh Willingham nightmares? Sit next to his bed while he’s sleeping and whisper, “Craig Wilson… Craaaaiiiiiiig Wiiiiiiiiilson.”

Triteon
5 years 7 days ago

I covet Haren too, but not at the cost of Shelby Miller. I’m willing to move Luddy but hope they can pair him (if that’s the plan) with someone besides Miller.

5 years 7 days ago

if the snakes are blowing up the team, and i’d assume thats the case if they are trading haren, they arent going to be interested in ludwick. cards would have to find a third team to take ludwick. i think its more likely they would keep ludwick and move him for prospects in the offseason. its going to be hard to get haren without miller.

i’d be ok with giving up miller for haren. the thing that rubbed me the wrong way about the wallace/holliday deal was giving up a blue chip prospect for a scott boras rental. you don’t give up those guys for the right to pay someone market value in a couple months. you trade prospects like wallace and miller for the players under contract and preferably players under contract at favorable rates. haren fits the bill.

TradeYouk
5 years 7 days ago

If the dbacks are trading their best pitcher they aren’t going to want a 32 year old outfielder as the 2nd best player in the deal.

jdub220
5 years 7 days ago

This doesn’t make sense. Why would the D’Backs want Ludwick?
They don’t need or want outfielders. They want pitchers.

Yankees420
5 years 6 days ago

I personally don’t think the Cards can get Haren without including Miller and I don’t think they’re going to want to give up much more Miller & Ludwick. So, if they are comfortable giving up Miller and Ludwick maybe a 3 way deal with the Rays could work.

Rays get: Ludwick
Cards get: Haren
D’backs get: Miller, and a SP like McGee/Colome/Torres, + some mid level guys.

I think the extra year of control on Ludwick would appeal to the Rays, since then they could ship out BJ Upton for help in the offseason, call up Jennings to play CF and have Ludwick and Zobrist playing LF/RF respectively.

5 years 7 days ago

It depends on how serious a challenge they see in Cincinnati. If Mo thinks they’ll be a threat for years to come, Dusty Baker’s proclivity for burying young arms notwithstanding, then dealing for Haren absolutely makes sense. I don’t think they would consider adding him unless they were positive they could still afford Albert.

Mick_Stepp
5 years 7 days ago

2010 ERA WHIP
Haren 4.60 1.35
Westbrook 4.67 1.41

An eyelash of a difference so far this year. This is Westbrooks first year back from TJ surgery and I expect him to be better in the 2nd half when his control improves. He gives up fewer HR’s than Haren but walks more (remember control is the last thing to return after TJ). Considering the relative price in prospects, Jake is the better deal.

jdub220
5 years 7 days ago

Also,
Haren: 135 IP, 3.42 xFIP, 8.87 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, .351 BABIP (with the same batted ball data as he’s had in past years, so that’s due for regression)
Westbrook: 113.2 IP, 4.35 xFIP, 5.3 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, .303 BABIP
They’re not even close. Yeah, Haren costs more, but he’s a much, much better pitcher who is under control for 3 more years.

Ferrariman
5 years 7 days ago

thats the thing, HAREN COSTS MORE.

the cardinals aren’t a team that needs to bend over backwards for an ace like the twins/rangers. they already have 2, and arguably 3. Haren would just be gravy, but westbrook makes much more sense.

jdub220
5 years 6 days ago

He was implying that Westbrook is equal to Haren based on performance, and that was wrong.

Triteon
5 years 7 days ago

You’re only looking at part of a single season. Haren was nothing short of dominating last year — his first game of ’09 was somewhat typical of his season: 7 INN, 9K, 0 BB, 1 ER and the loss — and had huge seasons for the previous four years. Westbrook was good from ’04-06. The two are hardly “an eyelash” apart.

John W
5 years 7 days ago

Both players are salary Dumps, Westbrook can be had for not much, Harens 12.5M package would NOT require any prospects, OR especially Ludwick, Did you not read the article or what Mo said. Thats why he like the idea of Haren, the problem is NOT prospects, BUT can they take on the salary, Ludwick would most likely be let go next season to clear salary, NOT traded..

Mick_Stepp
5 years 7 days ago

Haren will cost more in prospects to acquire because he has the better pedigree, no matter what Tim believes. So, unless you believe either can be had w/o prospects (in which case, you’re a fool), the cheaper acquisition is Westbrook with no appreciable expected difference in short term performance.

5 years 6 days ago

Uh, there are two things that can be gained by trading away your best players: Prospects and Payroll. Teams know this and tend to do either/or. When the Cards got Larry Walker in ’04, they didn’t give the Rockies jacksquat, except for Walker’s contract off their books. The Cliff Lee trade included more prospects because Texas couldn’t offer salary relief to Seattle.
Do you now see how the Cardinals could acquire Haren without giving up too much in terms of prospects?

aap212
5 years 7 days ago

Haren is an ace locked up at below market costs for two years and an option. His home runs allowed have had a fluky spike this year, but his other peripherals are fantastic and he eats a ton of innings. He will take a very good package of prospects.

5 years 6 days ago

“below market” is debatable. He and Oswalt are not good Value Contracts. You’re getting what you’re paying for with both of them.

aap212
5 years 6 days ago

“He and Oswalt are not good Value Contracts. You’re getting what you’re paying for with both of them.”

In back to back sentences, you specifically disagreed with yourself.

And yes, Haren’s contract is below market. If he were a free agent this offseason, he would get much more than what he has left. Some team is going to sign Cliff Lee to a contract that pays him more than $18 million when he’s 37. Haren’s salary escalates to $15.5 if you pick up the option for his age 32 season.

jdub220
5 years 7 days ago

HA! Thanks, I LOL’d.
Haren… a salary dump? Are you on drugs?

Yankees420
5 years 6 days ago

Everyone else has already told you why most of your comment is wrong…..so I’ll ask you something else. Why on earth would the Cardinals release (I assume this is what you mean by “let go”) Ludwick when he is arb eligible and a solid MLB right fielder? Why would he “NOT [be] traded..”?

5 years 6 days ago

because his contract could double in arbitration this offseason…

Yankees420
5 years 6 days ago

So that means he can’t be traded for something useful? Ludwick at 1 year and 8-10MM isn’t some albatross that no team would be interested in. He’s already posted a 2.4 WAR thus far and isn’t that far removed from a 5.4 WAR season.

5 years 7 days ago

Why doesnt anyone even think about throwing in Loshe??? he makes close to 12 mil a year. that would clear a lot more space

Redbirds16
5 years 7 days ago

Because lohse sucks right now. Maybe he’ll retrun to form, but until he does he has one of the worst contracts in the league.

5 years 7 days ago

I totally agree, but I dont see him getting any better. If you lose him and trade for Fausto Carmona we would have more money to sign Pujols and a better pitcher.

5 years 6 days ago

because Lohse has a full No Trade Clause?

Stltomkat
5 years 6 days ago

I dont see why we have to give up Ludwick..We could easily move Brendan Ryan, John Jay/Allen Craig, and Ottavino, just not Shelby Miller, we could have got Cliff Lee if we wanted to trade him…

5 years 6 days ago

Loshe has a full NO TRADE clause people! Ottavino can’t be delt as he is injured! I believe our trading chips right now are Craig, Miller, Lynn, Salas, Jay, Greene, Ryan, Anderson, Robinson. That doesn’t bode well for the top tier it may take to get a PLAYER. IF we eat payroll & add, it becomes easier!

5 years 6 days ago

Add a third team to the trade that Loshe would be willing to go to.

5 years 6 days ago

no trade clause…

5 years 6 days ago

Or just release him seeing as we cant use him in a trade to the D’backs.

Yankees420
5 years 6 days ago

Releasing him doesn’t clear any salary though.

5 years 6 days ago

I would give up Miller for Haren in a HeartBeat! Haren is a PROVEN Major League Front of the rotation pitcher. Miller is a MAYBE. Take the guy who will help you win right now, over the guy who might help you win in 3 or 4 years!

5 years 6 days ago

This is exactly how we lost Haren in the first place. Didn’t work out so well for us then.

5 years 6 days ago

Zing +1. It hurts, but it’s oh so true. The Mark Mulder trade still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, however for every Mark Mulder trade, there’s an Adam Wainwright trade, so at least we have that.

5 years 6 days ago

I would make the Mulder trade 100 times. Always take the proven commodity that is under contract. Just because Mulder got hurt doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make this deal. Miller is not a sure thing. he could just as easily get hurt, too. I will take a proven Major League Ace over an unproven “can’t miss” prospect, EVERY….SINGLE…..TIME. Win, now, for we don’t know what the future holds.

5 years 6 days ago

trading top SP prospects doesn’t usually work out well for teams. Especially when you already have two #1-type guys. I’ll grant you that it was a different situation when the Mulder trade went down, and a 1/2 made them instant WS favorites. The opportunity cost of adding Haren to be a #3 is just too high, especially when you consider it in the context of the EXTREMELY depleted farm system. Once Pujols gets his new mega-deal, the cards will need all the cost controlled, productive pieces they can get.

5 years 6 days ago

/punchingselfinhead

PujolsHollidayWestbrook
5 years 6 days ago

Although I don’t disagree with your logic, it is WAY more complicated than that. Haren is a proven pitcher, who is locked up for 3 years. Miller on the other hand is not proven, but is controlled, CHEAPLY for 6 years AFTER he gets called up. That is how middle-market teams win. They develop their own, controllable talent. The Cards are in dangerous waters if they continue to give large, veteran contracts. If Haren comes here, the rotation is locked in with a HUGE chunk of the payroll. Teams can easily mortgage their future by locking up too much money in too few players, no matter the talent level. Especially with the Pujols contract looming, you already have Holliday, Wainwright, Carpenter, Lohse, and Molina taking up a lot of payroll for a small-middle market team. Is Haren a smart choice? That is a tough call, especially with a depleted farm system already, with a lot of holes to fill.

Stltomkat
5 years 6 days ago

SHELBY MILLER ISNT A TRADING OPTION, WE HAD THE CHANCE TO TRADE FOR CLIFF LEE, BUT WE DIDNT CAUSE THEY WANTED MILLER… YOU GUYS REALLY THINK MO WOULD PASS UP LEE FOR HAREN??UMMMM NO!

aap212
5 years 6 days ago

UMMMMMMM HAREN IS UNDER TEAM CONTROL FOR 2-3 MORE YEARS AFTER THIS ONE FOR MUCH LESS MONEY THAN CLIFF LEE WILL RECEIVE, PLUS HE’S YOUNGER THAN CLIFF LEE. ALL CAPS DON’T MAKE YOU LOOK SMARTER.

5 years 6 days ago

Haren for 3 years, is worth Miller. Go ahead and “mortgage the future” to win now. And, the Cardinals are not a “small market” team. They are a medium-large budget team, that plays in a mid market city. The Cardinals have the money to spend, if they want to. And still sign Pujols.

Guest
5 years 6 days ago

Pretty sure the way Allen Craig is playing…. he would be a part in that trade

atfm25
5 years 6 days ago

Who’s Craig Allen?

Lanidrac
5 years 6 days ago

I really don’t see the Cardinals trading for Haren. Besides the unaffordable prospect cost, we’d have to trade Ludwick this offseason and decline Carpenter’s 2012 option (assuming we resign Pujols) to have a chance to afford Haren’s future salaries, and I’d rather have a relatively cheap Ludwick next year and $13M for Carpenter in 2012 than $12.5M for Haren for the next 2 years. I mean, after arbitration raises, we’re already committed to about 90M (out of about a $100M budget) next year while still needing a backup catcher, a LH relief pitcher, a bench player or two, and maybe a starting pitcher.