Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Haren Heads (Back) to LA

Dodgers represent the sixth team requiring Dan Haren’s services.

Toward the later hours of last evening, it was all over Twitter (astounding, isn’t it?) that free agent pitcher Dan Haren was to sign a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pending physical, huh?

I like the insurance the Dodgers gave themselves with the option. Haren has had a bit of a injury history over the past couple of seasons, but nothing of extreme significance. After compiling 238.1 innings during the 2011 season – the last of seven consecutive seasons hurling more than 200 innings – Haren posted 176.2 innings in 2012 and 169.2 last season.

But once Haren returned last season, it was the Dan Haren we’re used to seeing on the mound. In 16 games (15 starts), he was 6-5 (with a save no less), held an ERA of 3.29 and WHIP of 1.049. During the same stretch, opponents only hit .228 when facing him. Haren also struck out 84 in 87.2 innings covering those 16 games.

Stacie Wheeler from Lasorda’s Lair had this to say about the signing of Haren:

I like this deal, because it nabs the Dodgers a decent back-end starter at a reasonable rate on a short-term deal. The Dodgers will not have to give up a draft pick like they would have if they had signed someone like Hiroki Kuroda. This deal is also a lot cheaper than if they had signed Ricky Nolasco to some exorbitant and long-term contract.

Here’s what is intriguing to me.

I head over to the team’s website. Their depth chart displays a starting rotation of:

1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Zack Greinke
3. Hyun-jin Ryu
4. Josh Beckett
5. Chad Billingsley

Both Beckett and Billingsley are recovering from surgery. Billingsley had Tommy John surgery in late April and Beckett had a procedure similar to that of the now-retired Chris Carpenter in having a rib removed in an attempt to alleviate numbness and tingling in his hand. Carpenter recently announced his retirement and there have been questions if Beckett would be able to pitch again. If that is the case, then signing Haren makes even more sense.

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