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The Dan Haren Trade: Glass Half Empty for the Angels

There is a detailed analysis of the Dan Haren trade over at the subscriber-driven Baseball Prospectus, and for Angel fans, it is not a pretty picture.

In short, don't pop the division crown corks any time too soon, especially you pre-2009-11 AL West crown revelers.

The gist of the article is that the 6 prospects that the A's received from Arizona are SO good, that Fremont's pre-trade #11 prospect is now it's #16 prospect - and BP doesn't rate players over 25 as prospects, thus eliminating former-D-Back minor league pitcher Dana Eveland from it's consideration.

The analysis adds four of the players acquired in the Haren trade as firmly entrenched in the Joakland Top Ten prospects. Many pundits have given Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez a Carlos Beltran ceiling, and author Kevin Goldstein (the John Sickels of subscriber shakedown baseball websites) slots him as the #2 prospect for the She-Wolffs, implying that there is more than just an outside chance that Gonzalez will be the opening day centerfielder under Mount Davis. He calls lefty Brett Anderson the best teenage pitching prospect in baseball. Position players Chris Carter and Aaron Cunningham are #5 and #7 prospects respectively in Goldstein's very educated guesstimation.

This is NOT rebuilding. Billy Beane reloaded.

Before you point out all of the trouble facing Tarp Town, what with its proclivity for injuries and/or Kotsay/Krosby deadweight, consider that if Billy Beane is within 5 games of first place in July, he can take on two months of payroll for just about any star rental, and could trade a host of these glamorous prospects for serious pennant race mojo.

The Dan Haren trade should give Angel fans the queasy tension that early season games against the Athletics are of double import - Billy Beane's team cannot be allowed to sniff first place in midsummer. Complicating matters even more is the pathetic state of the Mariners and Rangers. Talk about the Green and Gold cakewalk - we all know that had the Mariners simply played .500 ball against Choakland in 2006 that the division crown would have comfortably rested in L.A. of Anaheim. With these two gelded inbred franchises being allowed on the field, there is no end to what the Connie Mack Attack can achieve in the A.L. West standings in 2008.

In other words, pop that bottle on New Year's Eve for the new year, not October.