The Nationals finished the year with the best record in baseball, but their season came a stunning and abrupt end last night thanks to the Cardinals' ninth inning comeback. Following the game, one of the club's impending free agents told Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com that he would like to return to the team in 2013.
"It's definitely a group of guys that I gel with, and I definitely wouldn't mind coming back," said right-hander Edwin Jackson. "If we work something out and I have a chance to come back and do it all over with these guys again, I'd definitely be happy about it. But as far as right now, deal with it when that time comes ... Like I always say going into free agency, you're not really sure (of the team's) plans."
Jackson, 29, left Scott Boras for the Legacy Agency back in July and said he's looking for a multiyear contract this offseason. He joined the Nationals on a one-year, $11MM deal late last winter, then pitched to a 4.03 ERA in 189 2/3 innings across 31 starts. It seems likely that Washington will make him a qualify offer so they can receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Here is my recent look at Jackson's free agent stock.
Adam LaRoche also reiterated to Kolko that he would like to remain with the team going forward, and that contract talks have not really progressed yet. GM Mike Rizzo acknowledged the preliminary talks and said he likes the way the first baseman fits in the clubhouse. LaRoche will surely decline his half of his $10MM mutual option after hitting .271/.343/.510 with 33 homers this year.