Dan Haren could be a solid option for the D’backs. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
General manager Kevin Towers has stated he would like to add a corner outfielder with power and a starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. While payroll flexibility could be limited, the D’backs have the prospects to deal in order to acquire one of their wishes. My guess is the outfielder would come via trade and the pitcher, though not a top tier one, will be signed via free agency. Would one of those starting options be former D’back star Dan Haren?
I know the 33 year old right-hander was a major disappointment over the past two seasons, including a rough 10-14, 4.67 ERA for the Nationals in 2013. However, there was a noticeable improvement in Haren during the second half of the season, just as the Nats righted their ship. Over his last 15 starts, Haren was 6-5 with a 3.23 ERA in 87 2/3 innings. He wouldn’t be as costly as a guy like Matt Garza and Ervin Santana and I am willing to bet his output won’t be far off from either of those hurlers. Perhaps a return to the desert can revitalize his career. Some of his finest professional moments came in Arizona including being selected twice to the All Star team.
Perhaps fans are looking for a bigger name or a guy who is not approaching his mid-30’s. However, Dan Haren would be a good choice for the team as he is familiar with the ball park, had tremendous success there and won’t have to be tied to a long term deal. For a team that believes it is a playoff contender, Haren would be a good guy to help mentor some of the brighter pitching prospects that make it to the D’backs.