NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nationals have found a fifth starter, but as we expected, the pitcher they added has credentials that elevate him beyond how you’d typically picture a No. 5 guy.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Nats have signed right-hander Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 million deal.
The contract is pending a physical.
Update: I’ve gotten confirmation from a Nats source that the team has agreed to terms with Haren. The deal is not finalized yet, the source cautioned, but the money is set.
Haren, 32, went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA with the Angels last season.
He’s a workhorse, having thrown at least 175 innings in eight straight seasons, and he’s posted double-digit wins in each of those seasons, as well. Haren has a career ERA of 3.66 over 10 major league campaigns.
The three-time All-Star clearly isn’t the same pitcher he was a few years ago, now sitting in the high 80s or low 90s with his fastball, but he’s found a way to remain effective by working with excellent control. His slider is his money pitch, and he throws a splitter, as well.
The Nats will not need to forfeit a draft pick by signing Haren, because he was not tendered a qualifying offer. The Angels declined his $15.5 million option for 2013, but paid him a $3.5 million buyout. He was almost traded to the Cubs before the buyout, but the deal fell through.
With the $13 million Haren will reportedly make from the Nats, he’s coming out on top of what the Angels could have paid him.
Haren has dealt with a back injury, and he has a hip issue which reportedly scared some teams off. But he’s a proven major leaguer and will upgrade a Nationals rotation which already was one of the league’s best.
Because of the back and hip issues, Haren’s physical isn’t a sure thing. But it’s doubtful the Nationals would have reached this point in the process without having medical personnel on board with the decision.
The Nationals’ starting rotation will now look like this: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler, Dan Haren.
Zach Duke and Christian Garcia will provide added rotation depth.
The prospective starting five listed above has a combined career ERA of 3.59. Not too shabby.