The marathon contract stalemate between Adam LaRoche and Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo is finally over! LaRoche setting for the two-year offer that has been on the table for months after failing to land the three year deal he had sought. New free agency rules requiring high draft pick compensation created a tough market for LaRoche. Boston and Baltimore were two teams that were very interested in LaRoche, but did not want to give up a first round draft choice as compensation.
The 33 year old LaRoche is coming off a career year, capturing the Gold Glove AND Silver Slugger awards. LaRoche hit 33 home runs and drove in 100 RBI with a .271 average in '12. Nats Manager Davey Johnson had made it very clear that he needed and wanted LaRoche back in a Nats uniform. LaRoche's left handed power bat was a key component of a balanced and dangerous Washington lineup.
With the off-season acquisition of center fielder Denard Span and now LaRoche returning, Mike Morse is the odd man out. The Nationals will be looking to trade Morse for a left handed short reliever and a prospect. Atlanta could be a potential partner with left handed Jonny Venters the prize. The Braves are also loaded with elite starting pitching prospects that Rizzo is seeking.