"The deciding factor in coming to Washington was winning," Haren said in an email. "I don't think there's a team better positioned to win now. It really was an easy decision for me, actually. It didn't take me long to decide that playing for the Nationals made sense."
The Nationals and Haren agreed Tuesday on a one-year, $13 million deal, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.
Once the contract is finalized, Haren will join four 20-somethings with lightning in their arms, completing the rotation that helps make the Nationals a World Series favorite.
With Haren in the fold and
"World Series or bust," said manager Davey Johnson, a former Orioles manager and player. "That's probably the slogan this year. But I'm comfortable with that."
It is why Haren chose the Nationals. Haren, 32, still needs to pass a physical, which will take place Thursday in Washington, for the deal to become official. Haren pitched through a back injury and a lingering hip issue that alarmed some teams. But Haren said he has already taken a physical for another interested team, and he checked out fine.
"The team was much less concerned about me physically after looking at me," Haren said.
Haren expressed complete confidence in his health and clarified the issues he faced. Haren tweaked his back in
"As for my health, I feel great," Haren said. "I actually felt great towards the end of last year, and I was battling my mechanics a lot but was still getting good results. I guess teams were concerned of a hip issue that I've dealt with since my time in Oakland. It never has and never will cause me to miss time."
Haren, a three-time All-Star, would give the Nationals a veteran workhorse in a rotation that includes