The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday for left-hander Joe Saunders and three other players.
The last-place Diamondbacks also get right-hander Rafael Rodriguez, minor league pitcher Patrick Corbin and a player to be named.
A three-time All-Star, Haren was one of the most prized pitchers available as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. He joins a Los Angeles rotation that is solid up front but is missing injured left-hander Scott Kazmir.
“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.
It also counters a big move made recently by Texas, which has a seven-game lead in the American League West. The Rangers acquired ace left-hander Cliff Lee from the Mariners on July 9.
“There are still opportunities out there. We’re not done trying to improve our club,” Reagins said.
Haren has averaged 15 wins over the past five seasons and is 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts this year. He was tied for the National League lead with 141 strikeouts through games Saturday.
Haren is in the second season of a four-year, $44.75 million contract with a club option for a fifth year.
Saunders, an All-Star in 2008, was 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA in 20 starts for the Angels this year.
“I’ve been in trade talks in the offseason and stuff like that but you never really think it’s going to happen,” said Saunders, who lives in Arizona. “They obviously think highly of me, so it will be a new challenge.”
OUCH, PART II
Dodgers pitcher Carlos Monasterios was struck on the right side of the head by a foul ball off the bat of Carlos Beltran while sitting in the Los Angeles dugout in the fourth inning of a game against the New York Mets.
A Dodgers spokesman says Sunday Monasterios never lost consciousness and does not appear to have any signs of a concussion.
The accident occurred less than 24 hours after San Francisco outfielder Eugenio Velez was struck on the head by teammate Pat Burrell’s foul ball while he was in the dugout. Velez sustained a concussion and spent the night in the hospital.
Brewers Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker had a surprise guest in the radio booth during Saturday night’s game between Milwaukee and Washington: Nationals slugger Adam Dunn.
Dunn was not in the starting lineup and dropped in during the bottom of the second inning to talk to the 75-year-old announcer who returned to the booth on Friday night for the first time since undergoing heart surgery.
Dunn, known for his jovial nature, imposing stature and even bigger bat, didn’t want to discuss whether the Nationals might look askance at his leaving the clubhouse during the game.
“I could care less if I get in trouble for going up and seeing my guy after he had heart surgery,” Dunn said. “I’ll pay my fine.”
The injuries to Magglio Ordoñez and Carlos Guillen capped a disastrous week for the Detroit Tigers.
Ordoñez fractured his right ankle sliding into home plate in the third inning Saturday, and Guillen strained his right calf two innings later.
Third baseman Brandon Inge, whom Ordoñez and Guillen joined on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, broke a bone in his left hand Monday when he was hit by a pitch against the Texas Rangers.