Hot Stove Rumors: Adam LaRoche on the move?


Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After all the wheeling and dealing that has come about in the last 36 hours of the Hot Stove, would any deal surprise you? Heck, Robinson Cano might end up a Seattle Mariner. That would be crazy. Tuesday I wrote a piece on the Nationals possibly signing, or being involved with, Cano. For that to happen, the majority consensus would be to move Adam LaRoche. For this to happen, a few things would have to fall in the Nationals’ favor.

LaRoche, 34, is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. He hit a lowly .237 with a .735 OPS, while hitting only 20 home runs and driving in 62. LaRoche is in a contract year in 2014 and is set to make $12 million this season. There is a mutual option for 2015 at $15 million, but unless LaRoche has a monster year, I don’t see the Nationals picking that up and would rather pay the $2 million buyout. If the Nationals could somehow sign Cano, this opens up a world of possibilities.

The Nationals could look to trade the former gold glove winner to a team with a hole at first base. Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay come to mind right away. Colorado would be in the mix, but they inked Justin Morneau to a two year deal Tuesday. The part that could be a snag is that Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay will not likely take on all of LaRoche’s $12 million salary. If the Nationals are willing to eat even $5 million, this could be a deal.

LaRoche is 34 and coming down to the end of his career. He is projected, by FanGraphs, to have a bounce back year. His average , OBP, SLG, OPS, and RBI total is predicted to increase. Plus, he is one of the best defensive first basemen in all of baseball. He had a rough year in 2013 in the field, but in 2012 he did win the gold glove. LaRoche could be a perfect fit for a team, but if the Nationals happen to sign Cano, I think LaRoche could be on his way out of Washington.