Filtering by Tag: Dan Haren

Should the Nats Move Dan Haren

Before getting into the baseball part of this I want to apologize for notwriting as frequently as I should. With the Nats nose-diving a couple weeks back I turned my attention to something else. A non-baseball writing project I am working on, and while working on that I decided to crack open my old laptop and publish some of the work from that. You can buy, read, and review it here. I will thank you immensely if you do. Now, on to baseball.

It is my belief that the Nationals do not really want to trade Dan Haren. They have reportedly asked for an Alex Meyer level prospect. They won't get that for Dan Haren and they know it. The only reason to ask for that level of prospect is to either make a team think they won when you "cave" and accept a lower level prospect or because there is no real interest in trading the player.  

The question with the Nats recent play is should they be interested in trading Dan Haren. It is unlikely that they want any of the minor leaguers starting as the Nats are big on innings limits and such but Nathan Karns has pitched at the majors this season and more innings would only help his 2014 innings limit. AJ Cole, Robbie Ray, and all the other more prospect like pitching prospects won't get an inning in the majors this season, and throwing them into what could be a pennant race isn't exactly fair, and there is also the fact that Dan Haren has a 2.53 ERA since coming off the DL and has been the Nats best starting pitcher since the All-Star Break. If the Nats are serious about closing the gap with the Reds they, in no uncertain terms, need Dan Haren.

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What If Dan Haren Continues to Struggle

Dan Haren's Nationals career is not off to the best start. He has allowedthe most homeruns in baseball and his HR/9 sits at an unsightly 2.0. He has always been a high homerun pitcher but his career high of 31 back in 2010 yielded an HR/9 of only 1.2; much more in line with his career average of 1.1. There should be some regression to the mean in that department, and if he does then his ERA should meet his xFIP and he will be more of a 4.18 ERA pitcher for the rest of the season, but that is “if”.  

Haren wasn't signed to be much more than a mid-4.00 ERA pitcher and the Nationals were hoping for more consistency than they got out of Edwin Jackson. Jackson's final numbers look decent enough with a 4.03 ERA, 8.0 K/9, and 2.8 BB/9, but his inconsistency led to the Nats having a record of 12-19 in games he started. Good for a .387 winning percentage. The Nats are currently 4-8 in games Dan Haren has started. Good for a .333 winning percentage. So far there isn't much difference between what Jackson gave the Nationals and what they are getting from Dan Haren, but Haren is pitching worse.   

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The Nats Ceiling is Scary

...the blackness of space illimitable; unimaginable space alive with motion and music, and having no semblance of anything on earth. --H.P. Lovecraft The Music of Erich Zahn 

​Welcome to 2013 where Washington Nationals fans can stare into the void of unimaginable heights. Nats fans stand at the base of the mountains of madness ready to ascend in search of some forbidden knowledge. For the Washington Nationals on paper are the best team in baseball, but that is if everything goes according to plan, and all the Nats players play to their career averages. There are of course other options. Frightening and scary options. Options that should lift the spirits, but instead bring great fright. It is a siren's call. Beautiful music from an unknown source to lure us to stare at the sky and attempt to discover where it ends. 

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The Signing of Dan Haren and What's Left for the Washington Nationals 2013 Off-Season

What do Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Mariano Rivera have in common? Besides all of them being Hall of Fame level pitchers the answer is that they are the only pitchers of the modern era that rank higher than Dan Haren in career K/BB ratio. When you think of what a pitcher controls there are few better than Dan Haren at striking batters out and not walking guys. When looking at Dan Haren you are looking at a pitcher who has average 4.7 fWAR over the last eight seasons and in seven of those has pitched more than 200 innings. Haren has a career 3.66 ERA and 3.64 FIP.

Looking at those numbers it can be questioned as to how the Nationals were able to snag him on a one year $13 mil deal. The answer is 2012 was the worst year of his career where he was worth only 1.8 fWAR in 176 2/3 innings with a 4.33 ERA and 4.24 FIP. Haren's K/9 and BB/9 were in line with his career averages but he gave up nearly half a homer more per nine innings than he has for his career. The reason for this may have something to do with the fact that his velocity is on the decline.

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Washington Nationals 2013 Off-Season Targets: Dan Haren

It hasn't taken long for the hot stove to heat up and the rumor mill to start turning. It was known long before now that the Angels were unlikely to pick up Dan Haren's option, but yesterday it broke that they will try and trade him before the date they have to make a decision on his option arrives. To a lot of people it doesn't make sense to trade for a player that is about to hit the free agent market anyway, but if you think a little deeper it makes a lot of sense. 

With the option Haren is basically going to be on a one year $15.5 million deal. After a down year teams might be reluctant to invite Haren in on a long term deal and if they trade for him it prevents any type of biding war from developing. $15.5 million is a lot of money for a one year deal for the 1.8 fWAR pitcher that Dan Haren was in 2012, but it is a great deal for the 4.4 or 6.1 fWAR pitcher Haren was in 2010 and 2011. For teams with money it could be worth the risk and because it is known that he is likely to be a free agent in a week it isn't going to take a lot in prospects to get him.

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