Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 12/4/12
Arizona-diamondbacks
The Washington Nationals are almost always pursuing under the radar deals, and today's latest signing is no exception. Mike Rizzo and the Nats have penned a one-year, $13 million deal with former Angels and Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren, according to Ken Rosenthal. Haren will surely move into the bottom half of the Nationals' starting rotation, replacing free agent Edwin Jackson. On the surface, it's essentially a one-for-one swap. Both were signed to one-year contracts with the Nats, and Jackson made $11 million while Haren will be paid $13 million by his new team. They're both traditionally durable pitchers that throw a lot of innings. A three-time All-Star who twice receieved Cy Young votes, there's a lot to be excited about with Haren. However, his 2012 numbers are definitely cause for some concern. His average fastball velocity has dropped three miles per hour since 2007. If that trend sticks, he'll be the only Nationals starter who doesn't break 90 mph on the gun for his fastball on average. The "lightest" throwing Nats starter is Ross Detwiler, who averaged 93 mph on his fastball in 2012. With the Nats push for power pitchers, Haren may not fit that mold. A drop in velocity over a long period like this may be a sign of aging or an injury, and the Nationals are certainly wary of that. Haren still has to pass a physical before the contract is final. It's impossible to debate that Haren had the worst year of his career in 2012. It's the first year he didn't rise above a replacement-level pitcher, according to WAR, since his rookie season in 2003. He posted the highest ERA of his career, and his BABIP, FIP, and xFIP don't indicate he got particularly unlucky. He just wasn't that good. His 2012 K/9 isn't far below his career average, and it was nearly identical to his 2011 level, just with far less success overall. Haren had one bad year over the course of a very impressive career, last season, but he's entering his age 32 season without a history of injuries and more than 200 innings in seven of eight seasons. That may be good, but it could also mean his body has slowly broken down over that time, resulting in his disappointing 2012 season. Overall, if Haren can return to his 2011 and prior form, the Nationals will have stolen Haren with a reasonable one-year deal. If he doesn't, and he struggles with injury and throwing effectively, the Nationals only take the hit for one season, not for multiple years. This could be a great deal or a decent deal, but it can't be a terrible deal simply because it doesn't lock them into a long contract. And if it's good, just imagine: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, Dan Haren. Not too shabby.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker