Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Dodgers Rotation Just Got a Whole Lot Better

According to Ken Rosenthal's twitter, the Dodgers have signed free agent Dan Haren to a 1 year, $10 million dollar deal, with a vesting option if he throws 180 innings in 2014.

Not to toot my own horn but this supposed deal is EXACTLY what I predicted about a two and a half weeks ago.  At first glance this is a great sign for the Dodgers. They had an obvious need for starting pitching going into 2014, and Masahiro Tanaka is a huge question mark at the moment. By signing Haren, the Dodgers made their projected rotation a whole lot better. The signing also prevents Ned Colletti from going out and signing guys like Jason Vargas to long-term commitments, or guys like Bronson Arroyo to short-term ones.

Haren pitched to a 10-14 mark last season, but that doesn't tell the entire story of his season. Haren had a strange case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde last year with two contrasting parts to his season. He started the campaign on route to his worst ever as a pro, taking a 6.15 ERA into June. However, Haren soon went on the DL what was officially announced as a sore shoulder. When he came back he was a completely different pitcher, posting an ERA of 3.29 across the remaining part of the season. Of course, ERA doesn't tell the entire story, and his peripheral numbers also improved. Haren is a good candidate to have a great bounce back year. He is back on the West Coast, and will be pitching in a division he dominated for years. Haren is currently slotted into the four spot in the rotation behind the likes of Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu. The signing instantly gives the Dodgers one of the best rotations in the game, as if we hadn't already had that title, and it may the not be complete. I'ts likely to be just a matter of time until the dominoes fall and Tanaka is posted. 

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