Sorry kids - I was out of town on business like a big person so I didn't have any time to put a longer post together. I'll try to have something up soon, but as anyone who's ever gone out of town on business knows today will be filled with furiously answering the emails that have piled up. So Monday probably.
Some quick thoughts that I'm sure you've heard by now and maybe even put in the last set of comments.
Outside of dramatic overpays, any 1 yr deal (and really 2 year deals, I think) for a veteran player is good one. It doesn't lock you in to multiple years if things go wrong - injury, decline phase, personality clash. It doesn't hurt your future flexibility, if you're running up against whatever budget you may have set. If things go right, the Nats have other options when Dan likely explores a longer-term deal after the season.
AL->NL is always good. Dan's pitched in both so it's not like he'll be a surprise to the players in the senior circuit, but for any pitcher going back to a league where you can dial things down every 9th batter is a boon.
Last year wasn't one big thing for Dan, it was a bunch of little things. Walks picked up. Homers picked up. BABIP was up. Gave up more line drives. He did get a little unlucky but he also pitched as badly as he did in a long time. You can blame the injury if you like, right now. He did pitch to better results after his DL stint
It's a bigger gamble than Edwin, but the reward is potentially higher. Injuries for pitchers rightfully scare people. A tweak here or there can screw up the delivery honed over years and turn a great pitcher into a bad one pretty quickly. IF Haren is healthy and IF he's not entering a decline phase of his career, than he should be a better pitcher than Jackson would be, which sets the Nationals up to have a rotation with four pitchers who would be no worse than a #2 on pretty much every other MLB staff. It's a risk sure, but the Nats can risk those "IF"s this year, when they couldn't last year, when they had ZNN trying to pitch his first full year after TJ, Strasburg on an innings limit and they had no idea how the #5 slot was going to work out.
Is it Greinke? No. And I wonder about the wisdom of not making a long-term pitching deal when the Nats' minor leagues pitching situation can be best described as "pray for health". But Rizzo is not inclined to give long term deals to pitchers (Strasburg will be the best test case because he hits FA after his 27 yr old season), the current rotation is young and under contract long enough to find some other pitcher over the course of 3 seasons, and if not Greinke than something like this is the next best option.(and you could argue the best option period - I'm a Greink-ophile)