Dan Haren and the Washington Nationals agreed on a one-year, $13 million contract on December 5 that will give the Nationals the veteran presence that they lacked in their starting rotation last season.
Haren, 32, performed poorly—by his standards—in 2012 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 30 starts—his eighth straight season of 30 starts—Haren went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA.
He hit the disabled list with a bad back for the first time in his career last season, but he was still durable enough to keep his 30-starts streak alive.
The Angels bought out his contract for $3.5 million in November, making him a free agent.
The Nationals, having a hole in their rotation after Edwin Jackson became a free agent, have decided to take a chance on Haren.
While he's making a decent amount of money, there's literally zero risk involved given the length of the contract. If he performs well, I actually wouldn't be surprised to see the two sides work out an extension midseason.
Extension or not, Haren's low-risk, high-reward nature has the potential to make him one of the biggest signings of the offseason. In my opinion, he'll be far and away the offseason's biggest steal.