(Nashville, Tennessee)–Last season was the first of Dan Haren’s career that he failed to pitch over 200 innings. The 32 year old right hander is coming off of the worst season of his 10 year career. Haren dealt with back and hip issues for most of the season which limited him to just 176.2 innings over his 30 starts. He allowed a career high 9.7 hits per nine innings and a career worst 4.33 ERA. While his walk rate remained largely the same, his strikeout rate decreased for the fourth consecutive season to 19%. After the Angels declined his $15.5 million option, Haren was set free on the market.
The thought would be that Haren would take an incentive laden deal and attempt to re-establish his value for next winter. Evidently, an injury-plagued season is still worth $13 million because the Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one year contract with Haren for $13 million. Factoring in the buyout that Haren received from the Angels, he will earn $16.5 million for the 2013 season, a one million dollar raise.
Haren will replace Edwin Jackson in the Nationals rotation and will slot into the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation behind Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and possibly behind Ross Detwiler. The Nationals have moved quickly to address their needs as they traded for center fielder Denard Span last week and agreed to terms with Haren on the second day of the Winter meetings.