Dan Haren is off the market, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have an imposing 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation.
The NL West champions acquired Haren from the rebuilding Oakland Athletics and traded major league saves leader Jose Valverde to Houston in separate swaps involving 12 players Friday.
Oakland also sent right-hander Connor Robertson to Arizona and received six players: left-handers Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith; infielder Chris Carter; and outfielders Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez.
The Diamondbacks got reliever Chad Qualls, infielder Chris Burke and right-hander Juan Gutierrez from the Astros.
Haren, the AL starter in the All-Star game this year, joins a Diamondbacks rotation that includes 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb. Arizona also hopes to get Randy Johnson back from injury next year.
"I'm extremely excited," Haren said. "Just having spent a couple of spring trainings in Phoenix, me and my wife really love the town. There's just so much to do, and the team is obviously on the rise a lot of young guys. It looks like a fun team to be on."
Haren, who was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA this year, became the first elite starter to switch teams this offseason. That could set off a flurry of moves by other teams in search of pitching.
The Minnesota Twins are listening to trade offers for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, who can become a free agent after next season. Baltimore is thought to be shopping lefty Erik Bedard.
At 27, Haren has won 43 games the past three seasons and has two years remaining on his contract with a club option for 2010. He is due salaries of $4 million in 2008 and $5.5 million in 2009. The 2010 option is for $6.75 million with a $250,000 buyout quite a bargain these days for a pitcher with his pedigree.
A's general manager Billy Beane said he expects his team to take its lumps in 2008, and he all but ruled out signing indicted home run king Barry Bonds to be the designated hitter across San Francisco Bay.
"Gosh," Beane said, chuckling when asked about the 43-year-old former Giants slugger. "We'll deal with this trade. We're trying to get younger."
With new general manager Ed Wade, the Astros have been one of baseball's busiest teams this fall. They traded five players to Baltimore on Wednesday for star shortstop Miguel Tejada, 10 days after signing free-agent second baseman Kaz Matsui to a $16.5 million, three-year contract.
Valverde, who had 47 saves in 54 chances this year, takes over as Houston's closer from inconsistent Brad Lidge, a 2005 All-Star who was traded to Philadelphia on Nov. 7 in a five-player deal that sent speedy outfielder Michael Bourn to the Astros.
TEXAS SS SUSPENDED: A teenage shortstop in the Texas Rangers organization was suspended Friday for the first 50 games of next season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance under baseball's minor league drug program. Julio Gonzalez, 19, hit .253 in 27 games this season in rookie ball in Arizona.
ROYALS AQUIRE CALLASPO: The Royals traded right-hander Billy Buckner to the Arizona Diamondbacks for switch-hitting infielder Alberto Callaspo on Friday. The 24-year-old Callaspo hit .215 with eight doubles and seven RBIs in 56 games for Arizona this year. He appeared mostly as a pinch hitter and split the season between the Diamondbacks and Triple-A Tucson. Buckner pitched 34 innings for the Royals this year and was 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA.
ESTES, RUSCH GET DEALS: Left-handers Shawn Estes and Glendon Rush, neither of whom pitched in the big leagues this season, agreed to minor league contracts with the San Diego Padres on Friday. The 34-year-old Estes made 11 minor league appearances this season as he bounced back from reconstructive elbow surgery in June 2006. Estes previously made one start for the Padres on April 5, 2006, when he strained his elbow.
BEAM SIGNS WITH PIRATES: T.J. Beam, a right-hander not offered a contract by the New York Yankees, agreed Friday to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Beam would make $450,000 if he plays in the majors. The 27-year-old Beam was 2-0 with an 8.50 ERA in 20 games with the Yankees in 2006, the only season he has pitched in the majors.
LAMB GETS 2-YEAR DEAL: Third baseman Mike Lamb and the Minnesota Twins agreed Friday to a $6.6 million, two-year contract with an option for 2010. The Twins are looking for more offense at third base. Nick Punto played 108 games at third this season and hit only .210 with one home run and 25 RBIs in 472 at-bats. Lamb hit .289 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs in 124 games with the Houston Astros this season.