Here's an excerpt from the BA/ESPN Chat hosted by John Manuel December 19:
Q: Did the A's get enough for Haren to put them back in the top 10-12 systems in the game? And did the injury situation and the callups that resulted( Buck, Barton, Suzuki, Casilla, etc) make the cupboard appear even more bare?
A: Not even close, Jeff, not for me. No sure thing in that deal; more quantity than quality. Not impressed with the state of that system in any way. Their '04 and '05 classes are pretty weak in retrospect, even with Huston Street('04) and Buck('05), and '06 has ahd decent returns, but nothing spectacular. Also, what happened to the A's in Latin America? They are no longer developing players such as Ramon Hernandez and Miguel Tejada; granted that's hard to do, but they did it, and now they don't.