A few days ago, the Diamondbacks acquired Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow from the Oakland A’s in exchange for their 2007 first round draft pick Jarrod Parker, their 2008 fifth round draft pick Collin Cowgill and their 2008 27th round draft pick Ryan Cook.
This is not the first time the D-backs and A’s hooked up in a multi-player deal involving a big-time A’s starting pitcher and highly regarded D-backs prospects. In 2007, the two teams completed a trade that sent ace pitcher Dan Haren to the D-backs in exchange for now superstar outfielder Carlos Gonzalez as well as two on-the-brink starting pitchers Brett Anderson and Dana Eveland among other prospects.
That trade was made during a time when the D-backs looked like they were on the upswing with young talent coming up through their farm system such as Justin Upton, Chris Young and others. That turned out to be fool’s gold though as the D-backs proceeded to not make the playoffs in any of the next three seasons including two last place finishes. Ultimately, the D-backs had to trade Dan Haren in 2010 after starting the season very poorly.
Instead of having proven players and stars Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson among other talented players they gave up for Dan Haren, they got two great seasons from Haren in losing efforts and ended up with trading for other prospects.
Is it possible the D-backs have overestimated themselves once again and have mortgaged some of the future for the present? It’s possible that Parker will be a better pitcher than Cahill in a few years, in fact, it might be probable considering Parker is a highly regarded prospect and projects to be a top of the rotation starter. However, he will not be for the next two to three years.
And the D-backs need to, almost desperately, keep the momentum going from last year’s exhilarating playoff run. They need to keep winning games to draw the fans back to the stadium in a down-trodden Arizona economy. So yes, they gave up a great talent in Parker, but they have to capitalize on their talent and momentum right now.