When the Washington Nationals signed him to a one-year, $13 million contract this past winter, many believed Dan Haren would be the lynch pin in the Nationals’ already stellar rotation, bringing veteran savvy to a very young rotation full of power arms.
Many lauded GM Mike Rizzo for being able to bring in Haren on the cheap, both due to contract length and taking advantage of a down season for Haren. Many believed Haren’s 4.33 ERA at the end of 2012 would easily go down in the NL as Haren has shown his ability to pitch successfully in both leagues.
Well, it worked wonders for his stats, but in a more negative sense. At one point this season, Haren’s ERA was well over 6.00, and he lead the NL in home runs allowed. Had he not turned things around after his DL stint, he would probably have been released.
Speaking of turnaround, Haren has turned his season around in recent starts, getting his ERA down a full run and looking like the Haren Washington expected when they signed him.
Of course, the bad Haren returned last night, as he was roughed up by the offensively-challenged Miami Marlins, allowing five earned runs in three innings, allowing six hits, walking two and allowing a home run. Haren is now 8-13 with a 5.23 ERA on the season for Washington — hardly worth the $13 million Rizzo and company doled out for him.
With that in mind, has Haren become Washington’s worst free agent signing in their short history?
It’s safe to say he probably has, mostly because of his contract length. Jayson Werth was another player many would have considered Washington’s worst signing, but Werth had the contract length to redeem himself, and he has done so admirably. Haren will probably be a one-and-done in DC, due to him wanting to be closer to his family on the West Coast. Besides, his horrific year gives Washington no motivation to bring him back.
Haren has had a nightmare season for Washington which is only amplified by the team’s struggles, and makes him, for now, most likely Washington’s worst free agent signing.