Los Angeles Dodgers Bolster Rotation With Dan Haren
Dan Haren is returning to the west coast after signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Haren agreed to a one-year contract worth $10MM, with an additional $10MM vesting option for 2015 if he reaches 180 innings pitched (per Ken Rosenthal).
Haren battled some injuries and struggled in his lone year with the Washington Nationals.
He pitched to the tune of a 5.61 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in the first half of 2013. However, he was a different man post All-Star Break and flashed glimpses of the old Dan Haren. Batters were only able to muster a .226 batting average against Haren, aiding in his 3.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
He finished the year with a 4.67 ERA, but his peripherals suggest he was far better than that figure suggests. Haren’s xFIP was one whole run better at 3.67. Haren also saw improvements to his k/9, which crept back over eight for the first time since 2010.
An additional bonus for Haren is that he will be able to pitch a majority of his games in the NL West, which is home to a number of pitcher friendly ballparks. In fact, Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT&T Park all finished in the bottom four of all parks in runs scored. This may help suppress his HR/9, which increased dramatically in 2012 to 1.43, and even higher to 1.49 in 2013.
The price tag suggests this signing is a bargain, considering Josh Johnson signed with the San Diego Padres for just $2MM less. Johnson’s injury history is far more apparent than Haren’s, who has been a durable innings eater for much of his career despite some hiccups the past two seasons.