Reports: Adam LaRoche Agrees to 2-Year Deal With Nationals
The deal will pay LaRoche $15 million over the next two seasons, according to the Washington Post, with a $10 million mutual option for 2013 that the Nats can buy out for $1 million. An official announcement is expected later this week.
LaRoche spent all of 2010 with the Arizona Diamondbacks after bouncing between the Pirates, Red Sox and Braves in 2009. Last year was also the worst season of LaRoche's seven-year career; he hit just .261/.320/.468 (his lowest OBP since 2005 and a career-low slugging percentage) with 25 homers in Arizona's hitter-friendly ballpark.
With his 31st birthday coming just after the World Series ended, that means the Nationals are taking a bit of a risk here by signing him to a two-year deal. If not for his late-season surge with Atlanta in 2009, LaRoche would be coming off of two consecutive down years. That's never good news for a player who is over 30.
Of course, LaRoche is known for his slick glove at first base as well, which is something his predecessor was decidedly lacking. If he can improve just a bit on his offensive performance from last year while keeping up the solid play in the field, he should be worth the money the Nationals are paying him in 2011 and maybe even in 2012.
He's not Adam Dunn, but there are certainly worse first basemen out there.