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Haren: Nats "just kind of fit for me"

Dec 7, 2012, 8:22 PM EDT

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Right-hander Dan Haren dealt with back and hip issues last season with the Angels.

Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Dan Haren had his choice of destinations this winter, with a number of franchises expressing interest in the veteran right-hander.

The Nationals had their choice of free agents, with a number of big-name starters on the open market who could round out their already deep and talented rotation.

In the end, it didn't take long for both the Nationals and Haren to realize they were the best match, resulting in a one-year, $13 million contract that became official today after the 32-year-old passed his physical.

"I did have quite a few other choices," Haren said. "But the Nationals just kind of fit for me."

"He was our primary target, and we … went after him quiteRead more ยป

232 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. flynnie - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    Loved this on the prospect of Josh Hamilton going to the Phillies:djpostl – Dec 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM Hyper frail/moody/sensitive Hamilton in a town full of drunks with the most vile fans in sports. Yeah, that has success written all over it.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    peric, span is definitely a starter. OB skills, defense, and baserunning are the reasons Rizzo got him to fill that typical leadoff hole we have had for some time.

  3. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    Faraz, you've heard of The Magnificent Seven, I trust. Much shorter than 7 Samurai, but transposed well into a cowboy movie.As long as it's slow and we're into fantasy-GM areas, and guys in a walk year, and things that won't happen: Eapinosa for Cano, straight up. Yankees get younger and cheaper, Nats get a major impact bat for one year and a draft pick after 2013, and a hole at second in 2014 if nobody turns up by then. If Rendon is indeed second-base-able, which no one knows yet for sure, maybe he'll be ready by then. Or maybe not, and you still have Lombardozzi in the meantime. But man, what a lineup with Cano here. Fantasy, like I said, but a nice one.

  4. Drew - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    If Greinke gets north of $145 million, I can only imagine what it will cost someday to lock up $tra$burg.

  5. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Great stories, Flynnie and the Hamilton-related comments are pretty darned funny.Loved Hepburn generally, Faraz. Loved Andrews on the soundtrack recording, which got a lot of playtime in my house growing up. It's hard to go wrong with a Kurosawa film, but on a non-samuri note, Ikiru is one of my faves.hmmm…I do like Cano…holdonaminute – boss, the plane! – uh, nevermind, gotta go.

  6. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Maybe some dominoes will start falling elsewhere with Greinke's signing done.

  7. Rabbit34 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Werth, manager??!! After his playing days, which I hope too bad aren't sooner rather than later, I hope he just disappears. I never did like the guy..not as a person, as a player. I much prefer anyone to replace him. Who? Anyone.

  8. Drew - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Faraz:A fan of movie musicals owes a tip of the Nats cap to the great soprano Marnie Nixon.It's Nixon who is doing the singing for Natalie Wood in "West Side Story" Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" and Debra Kerr in "The King and I." Yep, they're all dubbed by Nixon and lip-synched by great actresses.For 70s pop fans, Nixon is the mother of Andrew Gold, who sang "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend." Marnie is now 82. Gold died last year at 59.

  9. sjm308 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Rabbit: I'll bet you must have really enjoyed game 4 of the playoffs

  10. Drew - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Oops, Marni Nixon's name has no "e" on the end.Guess I confused her name with "Marnie" the Hitchcock thriller.

  11. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Bonus item: Nixon played a role (Sister Sophia) and sang for herself in The Sound of Music. (You can hardly go wrong with Hitchcock movies, either.)On a (sort of) baseball note, my husband opines that the funniest baseball scenes ever are in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! He may have a point. (Hey! It's Enrico Palazzo!)

  12. UnkyD - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    My only recollection of Ms Nixon (bizarrely) is of her playing herself, in an episode of "The Mothers-In-Law", on TV. She had moved into the 'hood, just in time for the local Opera Club's annual fund-raising production, and the ladies were first delighted that Marni would deign to participate (with the "yech", local talent), and then jealous of the attention she got… Silly TV hi jinks ensue…. (The stuff I remember…..sheesh!)

  13. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Drew wrote: "If Greinke gets north of $145 million, I can only imagine what it will cost someday to lock up $tra$burg."==========================Exactly. Which raises a questions: Does anyone know whether a Scott Boras client — once he has reached his free agency eligibility year — has ever re-signed with the team that originally drafted/developed him?

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Eugene….. See Jered Weaver – Angels.

  15. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Oh… Sorry… didn't see the free agency thing. Jered signed an extension prior reaching free agency.

  16. BigCat - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    I think if Rizzo allows LaRoche to leave, it is a major, major screw up. Swallow your pride baldy and bring him back. Davey is begging you, LaRoche wants it. This isn't some knucklehead, this is a professional guy who is a leader in the clubhouse, who is a magician around the bag and hit 30 bombs and drove in 100 runs. Get it done Rizzo!

  17. John C. - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    BigCat, I think if Rizzo allows himself to be buffaloed into a third year for Adam LaRoche it would be a major, major screw up. Don't let outside pressure force you to make a move that isn't the right baseball move, Rizzo. This isn't some prospect hitting free agency for the first time, it is a guy who is coming off of a career year and is at an age where two years is a risk and three years (in a non DH league) would be foolish. When your team has an alternative who can hit 30 bombs and drive in 100 runs, it makes no sense. Stand your ground, Rizzo!

  18. UnkyD - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Round, to John C.

  19. peric - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    peric, span is definitely a starter. OB skills, defense, and baserunning are the reasons Rizzo got him to fill that typical leadoff hole we have had for some time.We'll see what we shall see. There was an awful lot of synergy between Harper and Werth in the #1 and #2 slots. A whole heck of a lot more than I've seen in a very, very long time. If I'm Davey Johnson I'm going with the horse that got me to the best record in baseball. My crystal ball foresees Mr. Span batting seventh kind of where they would put Bernadina or Lombo who also has the same kind of skills. But, I think Werth has the better eye and the higher OBP and is better at setting things up for Harper and the rest that follow. While he was pretty miserable as a #5 #6 hitter.Davey might be forced to start Span because of Rizzo's odd ideas about what works at lead-off and in CF. Guess he doesn't believe in Mantle, DiMaggio or Santa. Werth is the superior lead-off hitter because he can still produce power unexpectedly. Makes the pitchers work him carefully and that could end up with more than a few walks.

  20. peric - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    BigCat, I think if Rizzo allows himself to be buffaloed into a third year for Adam LaRoche it would be a major, major screw up. Don't let outside pressure force you to make a move that isn't the right baseball move, Rizzo. Rizzo looks at LaRoche and sees Adam Dunn, except LaRoche is the better fielder but he can only play that one position and there isn't a DH in the NL. And Anthony Rendon may move up to #1 prospect in all of baseball status within a couple of months at the beginning of the season. Throw in Tyler Moore? And Mike Morse? None of the three were there with Dunn? You have a lot of reasons why 2 years may be too long for Rizzo much less three.But Rizzo does make baseball mistakes. Both Span and Haren could turn out to be two more to add to his previous mistakes like Brad Lidge and Garret Mock. If Haren's velocity remains at john Lannan levels he could end up like Lidge. If Werth ends up as the better lead off guy to set up Harper over Span? Is Span batting 7th any better than playing Morse with 30+ home run power in left-field? I don't think so. And if Tyler Moore manages to improve his left-field play methinks I'd prefer Moore to Span. So, well see.

  21. John C. - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Me, I like Span in the #1 slot (.357 career OBP, .342 last year) and Werth in the #2 slot (.362 career OBP, .387 last year. That brings up the power bats of (in some order) Harper, Zimmerman, Desmond and either Morse or LaRoche with plenty of RBI situations. For years the Nationals would have top of the order hitters (Guzman, Morgan, Harris, et al) who couldn't get on base. I think Zimmerman routinely led the league in batting with nobody on base and two outs.

  22. John C. - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    And of course Rizzo makes mistakes. EVERY general manager makes mistakes. It's the final results and scorecard that you have to look at. Suffice it to say that I have yet to see an internet commentator who I would rather have at the helm of the Nationals than Mike Rizzo. Although I've seen a lot who think they could do the job better. Heck, I may well have nomintaed myself a time or two with second guessing :-)

  23. natsfan1a - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    I second that emotion. :-)Suffice it to say that I have yet to see an internet commentator who I would rather have at the helm of the Nationals than Mike Rizzo.

  24. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    I would rather have at the helm of the Nationals than Mike Rizzo. Although I've seen a lot who think they could do the job better. Heck, I may well have nomintaed myself a time or two with second guessing :-)I agree. However, you are leaving out one important ingredient when it comes to deciding the batting order. Davey Johnson makes that choice. And the starting lineup for that matter. Davey isn't Jim Riggleman. I suspect Davey will end demonstrating to Rizzo and the FO that their logic is more than a bit flawed when it comes to wanting slap hitter in key slots in the lineup. It doesn't really work. Last year the team with the best record in baseball didn't have that. Right? And as you said results speak for themselves not OBP stats. Wins and Losses. The Nats won and won big with Werth and Harper set an #1 and #2. Dem;s the facts and as we like to say in the engineering world: DON'T FIX what ain't broke!

  25. MicheleS - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    John C…Ditto. I am sure if Davey or Mike Rizzo ever read any of this they would fall down laughing at the second guessing or pontificating from on high that some commentators do. (although guilty as charged since I want Adam back and Drake of course)

  26. peric - Dec 10, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    And just to throw more fuel on that fire for MicheleS …As I recall Ian Desmond and his high school baseball coach tried to turn Ian into a slap hitter … to bat first. (And Riggleman made some attempts at this as well). I think Davey almost had an ischemic attack when he saw what Desmond was trying to do … as I recall.How long do you think Span will be batting first? Not very long if Davey has any say in the matter I suspect.

  27. baseballswami - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Question for you— so I have been told that Davey doesn't believe in "giving away outs" — sacrificing, bunting runners over, as well as stealing bases. Since we have Span and other speedy dudes, will he let them steal and adopt a running game? Seems like a waste of talent if he doen't. I think taking extra bases and threatening to steal keeps the other team off guard. Forces errors .

  28. Feel Wood - Dec 10, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Denard Span has been a leadoff-hitting centerfielder his entire career. You would think that this is why Rizzo traded for him, not to turn him into something else. Also, I'm pretty sure Rizzo ran this past Davey before he made the trade, and that Davey is cool with it.

  29. Drew - Dec 10, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    The Royals gave up arguably the best slugging prospect in baseball — and three other prospects — for 2 years of James Shields plus Wade Davis?If they don't get an extension then I don't like this deal for the Royals. This makes it pretty clear that the Morse talk wasn't cutting it. Tampa surely wanted Rendon and/or Goodwin in the mix.No thanks. Give us a call when you're staring down the barrel at $26 million per for David Price.P.S. if a team acquires Shields, is Yarnell part of the deal?

  30. Anna Peregrina - Dec 10, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Actually, Peric, Latin's staging one of its periodic comebacks. euge! Glad to hear you're up on the classics — if by mischance you get into a rant, I can write "quousque tandem abutere patienta nostra?" :)

  31. seamhead - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    It's more like how long will he abuse the rest of our's patience?

  32. Joe Seamhead - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Quo usque tandem abutere, peric, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?

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