Well, we have seen one huge signing on Saturday and two other signings today. Dave Morris Jr. wrote about the Cardinals signing shortstop Jhonny Peralta earlier today, and I wrote about the Yankees signing catcher Brian McCann this morning.
Tonight, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers have signed starter Dan Haren to a one year deal. Here is Rosenthal's tweet:
Sources: Haren to #Dodgers, one year, $10M plus 2015 option that vests at 180 innings. Pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 25, 2013
I think this is a very good signing for the Dodgers as it is a very team friendly deal, pending details of the 2015 option if he pitches 180 innings this season. Haren will slot into the Dodgers 4th spot in the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. With Chad Billingsley coming back from Tommy John surgery sometime after the season starts, and Josh Beckett returning from injury as well, one would think Billingsley will start the season on the DL and they will give him as much time as he needs to return.
This signing may, or may not, take then out of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. That is assuming the NPB and MLB can agree on a revised posting system at some point in the very near future. Otherwise, Tanaka could return to Japan in 2014. I am curious if this deal also takes them out of the rumored David Price trade market that will become one of the hottest offseason topics in the next few weeks at the GM Meetings.
A quick glance at Twitter tells me a lot of people like the deal for the Dodgers. Here is Dave Cameron from FanGraphs:
1/10 for Dan Haren is the new leader in the clubhouse for best signing of the off-season.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) November 25, 2013
Cameron goes one step further, comparing Dan Haren to former Giants ace Tim Lincecum over the last three years, two years and last season (click on link for comparison table):
Haren vs Lincecum: Last 3 yrs (http://t.co/BkrLe8k3jo), last 2 yrs (http://t.co/7BTSiaHejk), last yr (http://t.co/bcIf378uIM).— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) November 25, 2013
For fantasy purposes, Haren is not the top 20 starter he was several years ago, as the seven straight seasons of 216+ innings may have caught up to him. Last season, he struggled in the first half before settling in and finishing the season with a 10-14 record with a 4.67 ERA, 4.09 FIP, and a 1.24 WHIP. He still strikes out eight batters per nine innings, and still has solid control, walking under two batters per nine innings for the third straight season. One area of concern is the rising HR/9 rate. Over the last three seasons, his HR/9 rate has jumped from 0.76 HR/9 in 2011 to 1.49 HR/9 last season. Moving to Dodger Stadium may not help his home run numbers. While Nationals Park depressed home runs by 20%, Dodger Stadium depressed home runs by "just" 4% last season. But, Dodger Stadium depressed run scoring more than Nationals Park.
For 2014, Haren is probably a top 75 starter and nothing more. He is likely to be drafted in the later rounds of most drafts, and shouldn't cost more a few bucks in NL only auction leagues.
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