It’s probably too late to do the Nationals much good, but Dan Haren has turned his season around in a big way following a miserable start.
Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals after the Angels declined his $15.5 million option, buying him out for $3.5 million instead. He was coming off multiple injuries and needed to re-establish his value, but through the end of June he was 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA and league-high 19 homers allowed. Then he spent two weeks on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
And he’s been fantastic since coming off the DL. Haren tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Cubs last night, giving him a 2.16 ERA and 50/10 K/BB ratio in 50 innings since early July. He’s allowed just four homers in eight starts during that span while holding opponents to a sub-.200 batting average.
Haren’s season totals may not end up looking particularly impressive because of the rough start, but if he can keep pitching like this for the final six weeks he’ll be in line for a nice payday as a 33-year-old free agent. And that possibility was no doubt a big part of why he signed a one-year deal.