Haren was supposed to fly into Washington, D.C., on Wednesday evening, then undergo a physical yesterday. Coincidentally, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo departed the Winter Meetings in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon - a full day before most teams’ executives - and returned to D.C.
While it’s doubtful the Nationals would have announced that they had agreed to terms with Haren if they didn’t fully expect a deal to go through, the physical is more than a formality considering the back and hip issues the right-hander has dealt with in recent seasons.
Are the medical issues something that’s delaying the go-ahead from team physicians? We don’t know. But it’s worth watching carefully until the Nationals make his signing official. The Nats are notorious for timing announcements to coincide with the evening news - so, as they say on TV, stay tuned.
If there’s a problem that scuttles the agreed-upon deal, the Nationals aren’t in bad shape. There are plenty of pitchers available on the free agent market who could suffice as a No. 5 starter. And don’t expect the Nationals to get involved in a bidding war for free agent righty Zack Greinke, whose contract demands are north of $100 million for a multi-year deal. It’s not going to happen.
Update: The Nationals officially announced that Haren agreed to a one-year deal in a team-issued release, indicating that the right-hander has passed his physical and will join the team.