Source: The Nats have agreed to terms with Adam LaRoche on a two-year deal.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) January 8, 2013
Well well. After much dancing and playing hard to get and foreplay and heavy petting and trepidation, it appears the Washington Nationals and Adam LaRoche will indeed go all the way. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports the Nats and LaRoche agree to a two-year deal worth $24 million with a mutual option for 2015 and $2 Mil buyout.
The first baseman comes off a strong season in DC, one in which he hit 33 home runs and posted a .361 wOBA in his age 33 season. It will be interesting to see if what kind of options might attach a third year to this deal. LaRoche and his camp wanted it bad, hard to envision them simply walking away from any type of carrot for an extra guaranteed year.
The Nationals both get their man and their terms, as LaRoche was quite forthcoming with his desire for a third guaranteed year. The Nats get their slugging first baseman of the present, which all but begins the bidding on outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse. Morse has no place to play, thanks to the re-upping of LaRoche and trade for Denard Span.
The hulking beast of a man is a terrific piece to dangle in exchange for the left-handed reliever the Nats also need to complete their entirely excellent team – one which signed Dan Haren earlier this off-season and can expect/hope for a full season from Wilson Ramos.
A lefty in the pen might even be a luxury the Nats don’t need, considering the neutral platoon splits of relievers Tyler Clippard and Craig Stammen. Should they seek a left-handed arm for their ‘pen, Boone Logan of the Yankees is likely to show up in their inbox. Don’t count out the ever-opportunistic Rays to spring the aid of a de-valued asset.
Hey everyone ,going silent for a while
— Michael Morse (@Dc_BEAST38) January 8, 2013
As for LaRoche, when he’s healthy he is a prototypical first baseman. Powerful and patient, with a good glove around the bag and penchant for killing hooved creatures with Chipper Jones. His career worst wOBA is .341, though CAIRO projects a .254/.326/.455 line with 22 home runs and a .337 wOBA in 2013. League average offense seems pessimistic to me. I mean, can’t they just get that from Morse?
No matter what kind of return the Nats get on a potential Morse trade, they will be very good in 2013. Kind of like 2012, except without the whole Strasburg shutdown distraction nonsense. And with a real centerfielder. And a full season of Bryce Harper. Yikes.