Haren heads to Angels for Saunders, others

Pitcher Dan Haren is headed back to the American League West after a multi-player trade in which he was dealt from Arizona to the Los Angeles Angels for Joe Saunders, among others.

Pitcher Dan Haren is headed back to the American League West after a multi-player trade Sunday in which he was dealt from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Los Angeles Angels for Joe Saunders, among others.

Arizona also received minor-league pitchers Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin, plus a player to be named later.

The right-handed Haren had more wins in the National League in 2008-09 than all but Tim Lincecum of San Francisco, but both he and Saunders have struggled lately.

Haren (7-8) has not won since June 12, going 0-4 in seven starts since then. He has a 4.60 earned-run average in 21 starts, with 141 strikeouts and 29 walks.

"At this point, being on the West Coast has a lot of value to me, being near my family and going to a ballclub that is dedicated to winning," Haren said after Arizona's 10-inning loss to San Francisco. "I am really excited about going there and having a chance to win."

Saunders is 0-2 in four appearances this month, dropping his record to 6-10.

Haren's best season was 2008, when he went 16-8 with 206 strikeouts for Arizona. He returns to the AL West, where he went 43-34 with Oakland from 2005 to 2007.

"A top-of-the-rotation guy that's going to help us not just this year but years down the road," Angels general manager Tony Reagins said in Texas before his team played the Rangers. "The addition of Dan gives us five guys that are really talented."

Saunders, 29, has spent his entire pro career with the Angels, compiling a 54-32 record in 115 regular-season appearances with a 4.29 ERA. The lefty was 0-1 in three career post-season appearances for the Angels.

Trailing Texas

Los Angeles began Sunday six games behind Texas in the American League West, the biggest division margin between first and second in the majors.

Arizona is second-last in the NL and has been shopping the six-foot-five Haren, who turns 30 in September.

Haren's contract was a factor in trade negotiations. He still has over $30 million US to come on a deal that runs out after 2012, with a team option for the following season.

"He's a guy that we've tracked the last month or so and seen him pitch and his stuff is good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"This is a huge opportunity for us to upgrade not only now but for the next several years. He's definitely a guy who has pitched in big games. He has terrific stuff and he's a young veteran. This guy still has his stuff and it gives us a deeper front end of our rotation and that's what every championship-calibre team is really striving to do."

Saunders is eligible for salary arbitration in the off-season.

With files from The Associated Press