Dodgers to sign Dan Haren to 1 year, $10 million deal, hope he can buck his career trend

DanHaren

The Dodgers will sign pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year, $10 million deal with a vesting option for 2015, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Haren will be 33 next season and is coming off two worst years of his career, posting a 4.33 ERA in 2011 and a 4.67 ERA in 2013. The peripherals essentially match, as he put up a 4.24 FIP in 2012 and a 4.09 FIP in 2013. While he actually strikes out an above average amount of hitters (21.1%/19.9%) and does well at avoiding issuing free passes (4.3%/7.9%), he gives up homers at a frightening rate, and has allowed 56 long balls the previous two seasons. I assume the team’s thinking is partially that he’ll improve the homers issue in Dodger Stadium.

As far as stuff is concerned, his velocity has dropped from 90.0 MPH in 2011 to 88.5 in 2012 and 88.9 in 2013, so he can’t afford to regress much further in that regard. Other than that, he has two primary off-speed pitches, a cut and a split, the latter of which is his swing-and-miss offering. A curve is mixed in occasionally to keep hitters honest.

At his price, he only needs to be league average to provide value, but he hasn’t been close to that since 2011. And while I’d like to believe the upside still exists, he’s showing signs of an aging pitcher. Still, he should be a fine addition to the rotation, if not a mediocre one, and there’s little risk here, so throwing him into the mix with Josh Beckett and (eventually) Chad Billingsley won’t hurt any.

That said, if the Dodgers fail to get another pitcher for the rotation in 2014, then he would have to be considered a downgrade from Ricky Nolasco. I assume it won’t come to that, and he’ll be one of the many veteran options at #5.

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