Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dodgers to sign Dan Haren to 1-year, $10 million contract, and that's great

In the Dodgers' first big signing of the offseason, they are set to ink former Nationals' right-hander Dan Haren to a 1-year, $10 million deal, pending a physical. There's a 2015 vesting option if Haren pitches 180 innings in 2014.

I had the Dodgers signing Haren to a modest $5 million deal for one year with incentives to push it to $8 million in my offseason plan. After Josh Johnson signed with the Padres last week, it looked like Haren could get at least a 2-year deal at $8-10 million annually.

Haren, 33, is coming off a down season with the Nationals, posting a 4.67 ERA in 169 2/3 innings. However, he was solid from July through the rest of the regular season.

July through September (16 games, 15 starts)
3.29 ERA
1.05 WHIP
87 2/3 IP (5.8 IP per start)
7.6 H/9
0.9 HR/9
1.8 BB/9
8.6 K/9
4.67 K/BB

Haren is a hometown kid as he was born in Monterey Park, went to high school at Bishop Amat Memorial and college at Pepperdine University.

At his peak, Haren was a 6-win pitcher (twice) and has been worth nearly 39 wins for his career. He posted WARs of 1.8 and 1.5 the last two seasons. In Los Angeles, he could easily be a 2-3-win pitcher.

With Josh Beckett coming off surgery and Chad Billingsley not set to come back until midseason (probably not even as a starter), the Dodgers needed to do something to shore up the rotation. Haren is a great step toward that.

As of now, Haren is slated to be the team's No. 4 starter. I'm sure that will change once Masahiro Tanaka is posted -- something that could happen sooner rather than later. If the Dodgers win the posting and sign him, Haren could very well be the best No. 5 starter in baseball. A.J. Ellis seems to like the deal.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs pointed this out on Twitter: Haren is basically Tim Lincecum the last couple of years -- 2012 and 2013. Lincecum, albeit younger, signed a 2-year, $35 million deal. In retrospect, the $10 million commitment to Haren looks like a steal.

I'm really happy with this acquisition. I've been a fan of Haren for a long time (ever since his Oakland days). If he can build on his resurgent second half of 2013, this should be a low-risk move for the Dodgers.

Jersey number prediction: He wore 15 for most of his career and 24 while in Oakland (one season) and Anaheim. No. 15 is available on the Dodgers, so I see no reason he won't wear it.

Photo credit: Lane 4 Imaging, Flickr


  1. Where do you get your facts about Billingsley? Most TJ operations don't require that length of time before you can pitch again.

    1. I'm not expecting him back and postively contributing until then. Just being realistic.

  2. Thanks. But I think he'll be ready for opening day.