Dan Haren Signing Makes Washington Nationals Favorite In National League

By Andy Schmidt
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals had one of the best pitching staffs in all of Major League Baseball in 2012 and made their first playoff appearance since moving from Montreal. Washington needed more pitching after Edwin Jackson left via free agency and the Nationals plugged that hole Tuesday with the addition of Dan Haren. Haren will likely be the No. 4 starter for the Nationals in 2013 which gives the team a four-man rotation that no one wants to see with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Haren.

Washington is a young and talented team with the amount of offense that have going on and adding Haren just puts a little less pressure on that offense to have to score as many runs. I thought Haren would end up with the Chicago Cubs during that proposed trade involving Carlos Marmol but the Nationals are getting a very good back of the rotation starter in this deal. Does anyone want to face this Nationals team now? There are few teams in the National League that could even compete with those starters and maybe just one in the world champion San Francisco Giants.

It is just another move to strengthen a team that gets better and better each and every year. With Strasburg likely to get all the way through the 2013 season instead of being shut down before any playoff run, the Nationals have to be considered the favorites in the National League East and even the whole National League. It is very possible that NL title goes through Washington in 2013.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.

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