The Los Angeles Angels may be secretly kicking themselves this morning. They couldn't work out a trade earlier in the year for Dan Haren, and now they have lost him to free agency. But that's not the reason they may be kicking themselves. Haren signed a $13 million, one-year deal with the Washington Nationals. The Angels could have potentially got Haren back for more than $2 million less had they picked up his option. Instead, they spent $3.5 million to watch him hit free agency.
Ken Rosenthal reported the deal yesterday afternoon. It was one of the bigger signings so far during these winter meetings. And it was one of the more intriguing signings.
Sources: Dan Haren in agreement with #Nationals, one year, $13M. Pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2012
The Angels and the Chicago Cubs had a deal seemingly in place back in early November. The Cubs were to send Carlos Marmol to Los Angeles in exchange for Haren. The deal fell through though, presumably because of concerns regarding Haren's health. The Angels had a team option for the 2013 season on Haren. They declined the option.
The Angels had reportedly been working with Haren on a deal, but their offer was more incentive-laden with a lower base salary. The Nationals stepped up and took a chance on him.
Haren's velocity dipped in 2012 and he hit the DL for the first time in the career. This raised some red flags for the Angels and teams across the league. The very fact that Los Angeles was willing to make a deal straight-up for Carlos Marmol, a wild and ineffective reliever, spoke volumes about the injury concerns surrounding Haren. The Nationals, though, feel the risk was worth it, and Haren has assured people around baseball that he is healthy.
Haren posted a 4.33 ERA in 2012. This came after two straight impressive seasons. He is 32 years old and will be entering his 11th year in the league next season.