Dan Haren had become a player that needed a change of scenery, and signed with the Washington Nationals in the off-season, where he will be counted on to be team’s fourth starter as the 2013 MLB season begins.
Haren finished 12-13 last season with the Los Angeles Angels and was nearly traded to the Chicago Cubs before being released by the Angels. Washington has to be happy to get someone with the talent of Haren on their roster for what could be a championship season.
Haren has won 15 or more games on three different occasions in his career and with the offense that the Nationals have this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Haren reaches that number yet again. I think that the back problems that caused the trade to Chicago to fail have now been fixed, and it will make Haren a very dangerous pitcher this season.
The Nationals have one of the best rotations in the National League with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez at the top, and Haren can be deep in the rotation without as much pressure.
It has been a rough spring training for Haren, but I think that comes a lot from him just getting the ball over the plate instead of trying to hit corners. That will change when the regular season arrives. This has the potential to be a season where Haren goes back to his previous success and if he can do that, the righty could be in line for another big contract in excess of $15 million a season.