According to multiple reports, pitcher Dan Haren has reached an agreement to join the Washington Nationals, pending a physical which should take place Thursday, according to those reports. Haren, 32, was 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels last season. The three-time All-Star owns 119 wins in 10 seasons.
Haren joins what could be quite a formidable rotation for 2013 with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler for the defending N.L. East champions.
Reports cite Haren’s contract at one-year, $13 million. The right-hander has dealt with back and hip problems the last couple of seasons, but according to a report in The Washington Post, Haren has already passed one physical for another team this off-season.
“As for my health I feel great,” Haren said. “I actually felt great towards the end of last year, and I was battling my mechanics a lot but was still getting good results. I guess teams were concerned of a hip issue that I’ve dealt with since my time in Oakland. It never has and never will cause me to miss time.”
Haren uses a changeup and impeccable control to limit baserunners, walking just 1.9 batters per nine innings over the course of his career. But he also has the ability to finish off hitters, averaging 7.6 strikeouts per nine.
With the addition of Haren, the Nats off-season shopping list seems to be just a few remaining items. GM Mike Rizzo is still trying to re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche, though the parties are still deadlocked on the duration of the contract. The team seems to be sticking to offering a two-year deal, while the veteran left-handed slugger wants a third year guaranteed on his contract. With the number of suitors for LaRoche dwindling though, it would seem to favor the Nats in the negotiations.
Rizzo would also like to add another left-handed relief pitcher. Sean Burnett, who filled that role admirably the last two seasons, seems to have priced himself out of the Nats plans.