According to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post, the Nationals have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with LaRoche, who spent the last two seasons in the nation’s capital.
LaRoche had a solid 2012 campaign, jacking 33 home runs and driving in 100, which was enough to earn him a Silver Slugger award and lead to a sixth-place finish in National League MVP voting. The 33-year-old also earned his first career Gold Glove during the breakout season.
There had been plenty of speculation in recent weeks that LaRoche could go elsewhere, as the Nationals have Michael Morse, who is capable of shifting to first base. The Nats ultimately decided to bring LaRoche back, though, perhaps because the market for the first baseman never really materialized.
Since Washington made LaRoche a qualifying offer, any team looking to sign the veteran free agent would have had to surrender a draft pick to the Nationals as compensation. That may have steered some teams away, especially since last season was LaRoche’s first real big year.
The Red Sox were one team rumored to have talked to LaRoche in the wake of their contract holdup with Mike Napoli. So now with LaRoche reportedly off the table, and Lance Berkman signing a one-year pact with the Rangers, it becomes increasingly important for the Sox to finally bring in Napoli.
Source: The Nats have agreed to terms with Adam LaRoche on a two-year deal.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) January 8, 2013
Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison