The Washington Nationals stayed busy on the second day of the annual winter meetings in Nashville Tuesday, signing starter Dan Haren to a one year deal worth $13 million dollars.
Haren just completed his most disappointing year of his 10-year career. In 2012, Haren went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels. After pitching over 200 innings every season since 2005, Haren finally got bit by the injury bug in 2012. He was slowed by back and hip issues and had his innings count drop to 176.2 innings. He fell out of favor with the Angels and eventually was seen as a liability. The Angels declined their $15 million plus option on Haren, and paid him to walk away, giving him a $3.5 million buyout.
The Nationals believe he is the perfect fit to become the teams number four start in 2013. Haren would join Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ross Detwiler in possibly the deepest rotation in all of baseball. The Nationals won the NL East title last season with that rotation and free agent Edwin Jackson as the number four starter.
The deal is contingent on Haren passing his physical. Reports are that the Boston Red Sox were also kicking the tires on Haren but team doctors did not look at Haren's hip positively. Haren will have the physical on Thursday.
Nationals Notes: The Nationals continue to stand pat on their preference for a 2-year deal for free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. The market for Sean Burnett is hot, which is boosting his value, and most likely ending his tenure with Washington. The only lefty now on the roster is Zach Duke, who the Nationals signed to a major league contract last week. GM Mike Rizzo has confirmed he has gotten a lot of calls about Michael Morse. If LaRoche does not return Morse could play first, however, if he returns there may be no room for Morse after the signing of Denard Span last week.
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