To beat a dead horse: the Nationals should trade Adam LaRoche. Now is as good a time as any. Here are several reasons why:
- The going rate for 1st baseman is high right now. Loney and Morneau got big contracts and aren't very good. The Mariners traded for Morrison and signed Hart, and are now looking to trade Smoak. LaRoche is better than Smoak. The best options left on the market are Morales and Youkilis. LaRoche is better than those two. In short, LaRoche has value right now to contending teams looking for a first baseman. See: Pirates.
- The Nats have internal options as good as LaRoche. Start with Tyler Moore. He has potential, he just needs to play every day. With Hairston and McLouth, he has little value as a bench bat. He needs playing time to develop--with PT, he could be better than LaRoche. Second, there's Ryan Zimmerman. He sucks at 3b but would be a good 1b. The Nats could move Rendon to third and play Espinosa or Kobernus at second. A small offensive dip compared to LaRoche at 1b and zimm at 3b, but a great defensive upgrade.
- The flexibility from moving LaRoche would be fantastic. Consider the possibilities.
- Moore could play first.
- Zimmerman could move to first, with Rendon moving to third and Espi/Kobernus playing second
- Zimmerman could play first, Rendon stays at 2b, and Espi/Kobernus handling third.
- Werth could play first, with McLouth/Hairston platooning in a corner.
I envision some combination of the above. Play Zimm at 1b and 3b. Get Espi/Kobernus some playing time when Zimm plays 1b. Get Werth some time at 1b too, to rest his old legs. This in turn gives McLouth and Hairston some needed at bats to stay fresh. Finally, give the bulk of 1b at-bats to Moore. Give the kid a chance.