It sounds like even if it takes selling Nationals Park, Adam LaRoche will be in a Nationals uniform next season. Here’s some notes from today that help the Nationals’ cause:
– Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are currently at two years on a LaRoche offer, and a vesting option for a third year (in his opinion) would be enough to get a deal done.
– Manager Davey Johnson told reporters including MASN Sports’ Dan Kolko that “Adam LaRoche is going to come back. If I
have to go to Kansas and take all his cattle to Florida, I will.”
– Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports that the Nationals still have money to spend even after the Dan Haren signing.
– With Mike Napoli agreeing to a 3-year pact with the Red Sox, LaRoche’s remaining prime suitors aside from Washington include Texas, Seattle, and Baltimore. Seattle will pay him, but pending a major turnaround, doesn’t figure to be a major player in the AL West with Texas, Anaheim and Oakland all boasting impressive 2013 rosters. Baltimore is a quality ball club, but with Toronto and Boston both getting substantially better this offseason, it’s hardly safe to say the Orioles are surely contenders next season. Texas, the other favorite to land LaRoche at this point, certainly boasts a competitive club, but job security would figure to be an issue for LaRoche with Mike Olt and Michael Young already in the mix. He’d get his at-bats, but the idea of seeing time away from first base at designated hitter is probably a turnoff. So out of the four clubs reportedly in the mix, the Nationals seem like the clear-cut most logical option.
Put those pieces together along with LaRoche’s verbally-expressed desire to stay in Washington and it’s hard to imagine him in another jersey next season.