Monday, November 25, 2013

Done Deal - Dan Haren is a Dodger!

Dan Haren has passed his physical, so the deal announced through the grapevine last night is now official.  The Dodgers have signed free agent starting pitcher Dan Haren to a $10 Million, 1-year contract; with an option for 2015 that vest if he pitches more than 180 innings this coming season.

Jon Heyman at CBS Sports provides more details about the new contract.

Overall, there isn't much to dislike about the contract.  It's short in length, and although it's a bit pricey for a #5 pitcher, it's not out of line with what he brings to the table.  He gives us needed insurance in case both Beckett and Billingsley are unable to perform as desired.

Per a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.

“Dan brings experience as a winner to our club and rotation,” said Colletti. “He has made 30 or more starts for nine straight seasons and has won 10 or more games for nine straight as well. Last year, his second half was among the best in the National League.”

As a member of the Nationals’ staff, Haren was one of the game’s top pitchers from July 27 through the conclusion of the season, sporting a 6-3 record with a 3.14 ERA (25 ER/71.2 IP) and holding opponents to a .224 batting average, which ranked as the sixth-best mark in the NL during that span (min. 70. IP). In that stretch, the right-hander made seven starts of 6.0 or more innings while allowing zero or one run.  On the season, Haren went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 31 games (30 GS) for Washington.

Haren, 33, enters his 12th Major League season in 2014 after pitching for the Cardinals (2003-04), Athletics (2005-07), Diamondbacks (2008-10), Angels (2010-12) and Nationals (2013) in his career. Haren was selected to three consecutive All-Star teams with Oakland in 2007 and Arizona in 2008 and 2009, earning the start for the American League in the 2007 Midsummer Classic.

In the course of his career, Haren is 129-111 with a 3.74 ERA in 327 career games (316 starts) and has posted double-digit win totals in his last nine seasons, ranking among the Major League leaders in quality starts (194, 1st), innings (1927.2, 2nd), wins (123, 4th) and strikeouts (1661, 4th) since 2005. Haren is among the game’s best when it comes to limiting walks, as the 6-5, 215-pounder ranks first among active pitchers with 1.87 walks-per-nine innings and his 4.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks third all-time in the live-ball era (min. 1500 IP). The 11-year veteran also ranks among active pitchers in opponents’ on-base percentage (.295, 4th) and baserunners per nine innings (10.92, 7th).

From 2005-11, Haren surpassed 30 or more starts and 210.0 innings in each season, posting career bests in ERA (3.07, 2007), a Major League-best 35 starts in 2010, complete games (4, 2011), shutouts (3, 2011), innings pitched (238.1, 2011), strikeouts (223, 2009) and an NL-best 1.00 WHIP and 5.87 strikeouts-to-walk ratio in 2009.

Haren has also appeared in the postseason twice, in 2004 as a member of the Cardinals and 2006 with the Athletics, posting a 2-0 record with a 3.26 ERA (7 ER/19.1 IP) in seven career postseason contests (2 GS).

Haren, who was born in Monterey Park, graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente and played collegiately at Pepperdine University, where he won West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior in 2001. Haren was originally selected by St. Louis in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.  

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2013 Leaf Memories Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards - Including Alexander Guerrero's 1st Baseball Card!

Leaf Trading Cards discovered a winning product last year with 2012 Leaf Memories (See the Dodger cards from that set, here.).  So, they hoped their follow-up set would garner the same amount of interest.  Unfortunately, it comes off as a little stale since they chose to use the exact same design as last years set. 

Not that it's horrible, mind you.  The 1990 vintage Leaf design they used was one of the best from that decade.  It's just that you'd think they'd come up with something different.  I guess they kind of hit a wall, since the 1991 Leaf Baseball design is, in my opinion, one of the worst from that decade.  Check out the entire checklist here.

For Dodger fans, the 2013 set lacks numbers, but does include the very first card of our newest Cuban signee - Alexander Guerrero.  In fact, he is the only Dodger player in the entire base set.  See it below.  As of this posting, Guerrero cards are selling for just a few bucks a piece.

BTW, the set also includes cards of two other recent Cuban defectees - Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Jose Abreu.

#AG1 Alexander Guerrero

Chris Anderson was the Dodgers 2013 1st round draft pick.

Base Auto

#CA2 Chris Anderson

The Leaf Buyback autographed cards are the best part of this set.  These are original 1990 & 1991 Leaf cards that have been repurchased by Leaf, signed by the player, numbered up to their uniform number, and embossed will a limited foil stamp.  Unfortunately, only two Dodgers are included.

1990 Auto Leaf Buyback

#/55 Orel Hershiser

1991 Auto Leaf Buyback

#/33 Eddie Murray

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Blog Kiosk: 11/25/2013 - Dodgers Links - Haren, Dodger Options in Outfield and Saito Still Pitching

Before heading back to the US, AJ Ellis tweeted a photo of the Sydney Cricket Ground - where the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be playing.  See it at top.

Steamer projects Haren to reach the 180 inning benchmark this season, and projects him as a 3 WAR pitcher. Ten million dollars for a 3 WAR pitcher is something 30 major clubs should be interested in, but one team beat all the others to the punch.
So, yes, Kemp's body might not be holding up, and that contract ain't getting any cheaper, and the Dodgers could have too many outfielders and not enough outfield. But he has years of prime left, and a winter to heal, and a resume that says he can play the game with anyone. There was a time when he was worth the wait. Worth the patience. (And worth the money.) It's still that time.
  • Via Mike Petriello at FanGraphs, "The Dodgers And “Too Many Outfielders”  Mike takes a look at the various options the Dodgers have.
  • Old friend, Takashi Saito, is still playing ball.  Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors, he has just signed a 1-year deal to pitch for the Ratuken Golden Eagles in Japan.

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