May 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Dan Haren (15) returns to the dugout following the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Sign Dan Haren to One-Year Deal

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year $10 million deal. There is a vesting option for 2015 if Haren should pitch at least 180 innings. This is the first signing for the Dodgers this winter besides the October signing of international free agent Alexander Guerrero.

 

Haren is a Southern California native, and he went to school at Pepperdine University in Malibu. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2001 draft, and he made his debut at 22-years old with St. Louis in 2003. He also spent time with Oakland, Arizona, the Angels, and last season he pitched for the Nationals.

 

Dan Haren missed time in 2013 due to shoulder inflammation, but he had a good second half. Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have plagued Haren throughout his career, and last season he went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 31 games while dealing with shoulder inflammation early on. He pitched 169 2/3 innings while striking out 151 batters for Washington last year. Haren is a three-time All-Star, and he pitched over 200 innings from 2005-2010. Overall in his career, the big righty is 129-111 with a 3.74 ERA.

Dan is actually quite a good hitter as well. He doubled in his first at-bat in his MLB debut. His career batting average is .215 with 2 homeruns and 29 RBIs.

On July 25, 2010, Haren was traded to the Angels from Arizona in exchange for Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez, Patrick Corbin, and Tyler Skaggs. The latter two would go on to become successful rookies for Arizona.

Last season Haren played on a one-year $13 million contract with Washington. He had some shoulder issues, and by the end of June he had one of the worst ERAs in the Majors and had given up 19 homeruns in his first 15 starts. Haren does allow a lot of homeruns, and he served up 28 of them in his past two seasons. Hopefully the confines of Dodger Stadium can help lower that number next season.

At Dodger Stadium, Haren is 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA in 8 games started. He’s allowed 4 homeruns at Dodger Stadium in 49 innings pitched at Chavez Ravine.

I like this deal, because it nabs the Dodgers a decent back-end starter at a reasonable rate on a short-term deal. The Dodgers will not have to give up a draft pick like they would have if they had signed someone like Hiroki Kuroda. This deal is also a lot cheaper than if they had signed Ricky Nolasco to some exorbitant and long-term contract.

Even though the Dodgers have a ton of cash it doesn’t mean they will continue to spend without limits. If signing Dan Haren means more money going to Clayton Kershaw for his contract extension, then it sounds good to me. Although I really do hope the Dodgers will still bid on negotiating rights to Masahiro Tanaka.

Some may argue that Haren was less than stellar for the Nats, but he did have a great second half to the season. Being a So Cal native will certainly make Haren feel at home when pitching for a hometown crowd, and having rotation brethren that includes Kersh, Greinke, and Ryu could definitely push him to pitch at his best.

Welcome to the Dodgers Dan Haren! You’ve finally found the right Southern California team.

Tags: Dan Haren Los Angeles Dodgers

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