Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes made many trades that dramatically altered the team's future, but none more so than the 2007 deal to acquire Dan Haren. Hindsight is always 20/20, but what would the team look like if we undid this trade?
On December 14th, 2007, the Diamondbacks shipped Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, and Greg Smith to the Athletics for Haren and Connor Robertson. At the time I called this a win for the Diamondbacks, failing to fully realize what Gonzalez and Anderson would become. So I can't knock Byrnes for pulling the trigger, especially since he was adding a second ace to pair with Brandon Webb without hurting his big league club. Plus, Haren was signed at a third of his market value for three seasons. You have to give up a ton to get a guy like that.
Still, let's undo the Haren trade and put CarGo in left field for Arizona. We can also take Joe Saunders out of the rotation and slide Anderson in. Those are a couple of huge upgrades. WAR might peg the total upgrade over what the Diamondbacks have now at five wins or so, but I have to admit that intuitively it feels like the difference would be about twice that. Just undoing the one Haren deal, the D'Backs have a fantastic, affordable front three of Anderson, Kennedy, and Hudson in their rotation plus a pair of superstars at the outfield corners.
What else would be different right now? Would Byrnes still have his job? Would Mark Reynolds still be manning third base? Would the team have made a more serious offseason push toward contending in 2011? It's fun to wonder, unless you root for the Diamondbacks.