Dodgers 2014 Off-Season: Dan Haren, Jose Dominguez Trending Up

Dan HarenHeading into the holiday season, the Dodgers broke even on pitchers when they signed one and lost one in free agency. The team will continue to pursue free agents in their search for pitching and a third baseman.

As December nears, we take a look at what was trending up and down this week with the Dodgers:

Trending Up

Dan Haren

The 33-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers this week to return home to Southern California. The deal is worth $10 million with incentives that could push it to $13 million and a player option that kicks in if Haren reaches 180 innings in 2014. The right-hander spent last season with the Washington Nationals, going 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA.

Haren was signed to be either the fourth or fifth starter in the Dodgers’ rotation, depending on any other moves made this off-season. He returns to the area where he grew up and to the team he watched as a child. The right-hander was one of the first notable starting pitchers to sign this winter and comes on a safe one-year deal.

The Dodgers will be in the market for another starting pitcher and Haren’s place will be determined by that move.

Nick “Chili” Buss

The Dodger prospect had a solid week for the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League to push his overall average above .300 in 23 games. In four games this week, Buss went 7-14 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored, while striking out just once and added a triple.

Buss was an All-Star in Triple-A this season and joined the Dodgers for a few games in September. The outfielder is now hitting .301 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 23 games for the Cardenales. He has a total of nine extra-base hits and a stolen base in 93 at-bats.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old will have a hard time making the team next season, especially if the Dodgers fail to move one of their four outfielders, but he will be another option in case of injury.

Jose Dominguez

The hard-throwing Dominguez was on his way to becoming another asset to the Dodgers’ bullpen this season when he went down with a quad injury. The right-hander joined the Tigres del Licey this week in the Dominican Winter League and appeared in a few games.

Dominguez appeared in three games for the Tigres so far, including two scoreless innings this week in relief. He didn’t allow a hit in his two games and recorded one strikeout.

The 23-year-old will likely be in the bullpen next season for the Dodgers and it seems as if he has overcome his injury.

Trending Down

Ted Lilly

The former Dodger left-hander hinted that his time in the major leagues may be up, a season after the Dodgers designated him for assignment. Lilly was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings for the Dodgers last season and was trying to extend his career by working out in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The veteran pitcher was with the Dodgers from 2010-2013 and has spent 15 seasons in the major leagues. The 37-year-old will likely formally announce his retirement once he returns to his home.

Lilly could change his mind in the coming months, but it’s likely his last pitch in the majors was with the Dodgers.

Ricky Nolasco

The Dodgers lost another free agent after losing two utility players in the past two weeks. It seems as if starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco is headed to Minnesota to play for the Twins. It was reported that he has agreed to terms with the team and Nolasco even changed his Twitter avatar to a Twins logo.

The 30-year-old spent just over half the season with the Dodgers, going 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA, after being acquired from the Miami Marlins. The right-hander was reportedly seeking $80 million and received no interest from the Dodgers. Nolasco now goes to a team that finished last in the American League Central, but he’ll likely be the number one or two starter.

Nolasco was essentially replaced by Haren in Los Angeles and the Dodgers seem to be fine with moving on.


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