The Los Angeles Dodgers signed starter Dan Haren to a one-year $10 million deal early in the off-season as the 33-year-old right-hander wanted to pitch closer to home after spending a season with the Washington Nationals.
Haren had a tough start to his career in D.C., but in the second half, looked like a completely different pitcher. He went 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA after the All-Star break and after giving up 19 home runs prior, he allowed just nine after the break.
Talking on MLB Network Radio, Haren talked about how excited he is to pitch at Dodger Stadium as a member of the home team:
I’ve always enjoyed pitching at Dodger Stadium. It’s always been a good atmosphere, weather and great fans. Well, it’s going to be better on the home side. I remember in 2004 being in the bullpen in the NLDS and I was with the Cardinals that people were throwing batteries at us. It’s a rowdy group. Just like any team, if you’re winning things are great. If not, they’ll let you hear about it.
In his career, Haren is 2-3 with a 3.49 ERA in eight starts at Chavez Ravine, but should perform better with a World Series caliber Dodger team behind him in 2014. As it stands now, Haren and Josh Beckett would be the number four and five starters, but there’s still a chance the Dodgers make a run at Masahiro Tanaka if he’s posted.
While the deal is for one year guaranteed, Haren has several incentives written into his contract that could net him $13 million in 2014 and also can vest a player option in 2015 based on performance.
It sounds like the 11-year veteran is genuinely excited about pitching close to home and should provide the Dodgers with needed innings at the back end of the rotation.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week