If the Boston Red Sox' deal with Mike Napoli, which is reportedly for 3-year/$39M, isn't finalized, Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo speculated yesterday in his weekly Sunday baseball column that the Red Sox could revisit the idea of adding free agent Adam LaRoche. The 33-year-old first baseman, Mr. Cafardo wrote, "... could actually be a better option," for Boston, and the Sox could give LaRoche the three-year deal he's reportedly after this winter.
The Texas Rangers have been mentioned as a potential destination for LaRoche as well, though the level of interest on the Rangers' behalf is unknown. If LaRoche doesn't return to Washington as many expect, or sign with Texas or Boston, Mr. Cafardo wrote, the Baltimore Orioles might be another option, "... where Dan Duquette has coveted him." The Nationals, thus far, have reportedly been unwilling to go beyond two years to bring LaRoche back to the nation's capital.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote on Sunday night that his sources told him that LaRoche and the Nats had failed to make any progress in their continuing discussions about a new deal. "The source went so far as to say that nothing has changed since the season came to an end last October," Mr. Ladson wrote. The Nationals won't go past two years. LaRoche wants three. Neither side has blinked thus far.
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's sources told him recently that the Nats had an informal Christmas deadline to resolve the situation and either bring LaRoche back or move on with Michael Morse at first in 2013. Asked today by the WaPost writer if there was a date by which he'd like to get a deal done, LaRoche told the reporter, "April 1," which is, of course, Opening Day. Will the Nationals be willing to wait? Will the Rangers, Red Sox, Mariners or Orioles step up with the three-year offer LaRoche is after?
According to a report by Baltimore Sun writer Dan Connolly this afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles do have, "... legitimate interest in adding LaRoche." But the situation, the reporter notes, is a complicated one. It's not, however, Mr. Connolly writes, a matter or money or years, but the fact that such a signing would, "... run counter to executive vice president Dan Duquette’s plan of rebuilding from the draft," since it would cost the O's their 1st Round pick under the rules agreed upon in the new CBA.
The Nationals' decision to offer LaRoche a 1-year/$13.3M dollar qualifying offer means that they'll receive a compensatory draft pick if LaRoche signs elsewhere and any team that signs him will lose their own 1st Round (unless they hold one of the top 10 picks in next June's Draft.) The Orioles have the 24th overall pick. The Baltimore Sun reporter notes that the consensus amongst those he's heard from in the O's organization is that LaRoche will eventually return to Washington, but with the Nationals and the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winning first baseman so far unable to agree on a deal, the market for the 33-year-old first baseman is taking shape as many expected it would.