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M's Sans Kuroda, A's Sans Haren

Hiroki KurodaThe baseball world did stop for the release of the Mitchell report, but just barely. The Hot Stove League continues to simmer with activity, with pitchers finally on the move. The two highlights were clearly the Dodgers signing Hiroki Kuroda (72), and the A's trading Dan Haren (86). Here is a look at both of the moves, from an AL West perspective:

Dodgers sign SP Hiroki Kuroda to a 3-year, $35.3 million deal - Between Bavasi and McLaren's trip to Japan, a Japanese catcher, and a reportedly larger deal offered than the Dodgers, I thought the Mariners were the front-runners for Kuroda the whole time. Most, especially the M's front office, see Kuroda as a big loss, but all things considered, I am very happy he decided to sign elsewhere. While it would be nice to see the M's add another solid starter, I would rather give the younger players already on the roster a chance before overpaying for free agents like Kuroda, Carlos Silva (75), and Kyle Lohse (73).

Athletics trade SP Dan Haren (86) and SP Connor Robertson (62/73) to the Diamondbacks for SP Dana Eveland (75/84), SP Greg Smith (62/75), SP Brett Anderson (43/86), OF Carlos Gonzalez (53/76), OF Aaron Cunningham (51/85), and 1B Chris Carter (40/83) - This trade is fair...sort of. I felt all along the A's absolutely would not trade Haren unless they were certain they were getting more talent in return for what they were giving up. Clearly, they did. The popular perception is that Gonzalez, the D'Backs best prospect according to Baseball America, was the key to this deal. However, I think the real key was Dana Eveland, who can replace Haren immediately and has a good chance to be just as good as him a couple years down the road. Anderson, Cunningham, and Carter also look impressive, and Smith looks like he will be a solid bullpen arm. Basically, if any of the five outside of Smith pan out for the A's, it will be a fair deal, and the odds are more than one of them lives up to their potential. As for Arizona, they now have one of the finest 1-2 starting punches in all of baseball, and they used their loaded farm system to avoid trading any major league contributors. They may have given up more talent than they acquired, but that is what a strong farm system allows a team to do.