Sources are reporting that Adam LaRoche and the Nationals are close to reaching an agreement. The terms of the deal have been the issue as Adam LaRoche is seeking a three year contract, but the Nationals are only offering to sign him for two years. Fans seem sour that Derek Lee was not signed even for one year, but the fact is Lee has surpassed his prime years. Lee knows his end is near as he gambles on a one year deal to hopefully have a great season, so he can go for the last retirement contract. Derek, invest well because no team is going to give you another long term contract unless you are the AL MVP. The big three teams (NY,BOS,PHI) have their first basemen under contract, and with Prince Fielder the next big free agent first baseman next season Lee has little chance to get more than another one year deal. Good luck in Baltimore Derek your new team should have a great season.
LaRoche is the better play for the Nationals because a left handed bat balances their line up. He can give the Nationals infield an experienced first baseman and now fans will witness what I believe to be the best defense in the National League. Washington must now focus on implementing a defensive philosophy in the spring so it is executed consistently during the regular season. Too many times last season the Nationals lost games on mental errors that can be easily corrected with the execution of a system or philosophy for handling defensive situations.
There was no rush for the Nationals to sign Adam as they were given the opportunity to establish market values for players on their roster and who they may be interested in obtaining. Rizzo has much of the leverage in these negotiations and his approach has been to attempt to gain players at maximum value. Rizzo has had LaRoche in his back pocket, and he has been bargain hunting for the past month. We will more than likely have Adam LaRoche as our first baseman by next week. Enjoy the holidays and get ready for spring training.