The Washington Nationals and Adam LaRoche have been in talks about bringing the 33-year-old first baseman back to the nation's capital since before the second year of the first baseman's two-year deal was over. The two sides were sides were reportedly at a stalemate for several months as the nine-year veteran who won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for his work in 2012 looked for a three-year deal with the Nats reportedly unwilling to offer more than a two-year contract. According to a report this afternoon by the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore the two sides have finally reached an agreement:
@AdamKilgoreWP: Source: The Nats have agreed to terms with Adam LaRoche on a two-year deal.
The agreement ends months of speculation about the direction the Nationals would take at first base for the next few years. Michael Morse was expected to shift over to first base if LaRoche signed elsewhere. With today's announcement will come increased speculation that Morse may be dealt this winter as the Nationals attempt to restock their pitching depth after trading some of their top prospects in the last two years.
LaRoche returns to D.C. after a strong season in the nation's capital during which he hit 35 doubles and 33 HR's while posting a .271/.343/.510 line and finishing the year at a career-best +3.8 fWAR. Both manager Davey Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo were clear all winter about their desire to see LaRoche return, with Rizzo, however, also noting that LaRoche had earned the right to test the market and see what sort of deal he could find. The speculation will now turn to what the Nats will do to clear up the logjam at first with the outfield set after the acquisition of former Twins' outfielder Denard Span and now LaRoche's return leaving Morse as the odd man out.