The Dodgers have been linked to several players already this offseason, and since many of them have been starting pitchers, it might be safe to assume they're in the market to improve their rotation. They already have a rock solid top-3 in Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-jin Ryu, and a few internal options -- like Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley -- that could log some significant innings next season. But it appears as though they are taking the old adage of "You can never have too much pitching" quite literally.
@dodgers have been in contact with Dan Haren's agent. Hard to tell if the fit is right but there's some interest on both sides— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) November 20, 2013
It's not as if having Haren in the mix would be a bad thing for the Dodgers, but doesn't it seem like they have a few Harens lying around already? LA has also been linked to Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, though the complications in the posting agreement between MLB and NPB have slowed momentum for the right-hander. That seems to make more sense -- since the Dodgers do not care at all about the cost -- because he would be a significant upgrade, or at least he has the potential to be one. If Tanaka turned out to be even half the pitcher Yu Darvish has been, he'd be worth the trouble for the Dodgers (because again, in this case, payroll appears to be almost irrelevant).
Josh Beckett has success in the recent past as well. In 2011, he was excellent, posting a 4.1 fWAR and a 2.89 ERA in nearly 200 innings for the Red Sox. And Chad Billingsley (currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, performed on 4/23/13) gave the Dodgers 2.5 wins in about 150 innings as recently as 2012. Do the Dodgers really need another poorly aging, injury-risk clogging up the back end of their rotation? Why not let Stephen Fife, Matt Magill, Zach Lee or Onelki Garcia take a shot at one of those spots?
Haren showed some flashes at the end of 2013, with a 3.29 ERA over his last 87.2 innings. And yes, he could rebound next year (Steamer projections have him at 3.0 fWAR), but this signing seems like it would be nothing more than a distraction from the Dodgers most pressing issue: finding someone who will take Andre Ethier.
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