Adam LaRoche Rumors

Nationals Notes: Johnson, Pitching, Jackson, LaRoche

Earlier today, Tim Dierkes profiled the Nationals in the latest installment of the Arbitration Eligibles series.  Here’s more on the Nats..

  • The Nationals have yet to reach agreement on a new deal with manager Davey Johnson for 2013 and beyond, but General Manager Mike Rizzo says he is confident about getting a deal done, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • Johnson told MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that he is also confident that an agreement will be reached and that a deal could be struck as early as Thursday.  “There isn’t really any rush for me,” Johnson said. “I’m not worried about it. I assume everything is going to worked out. I don’t feel like it’s an emergency. I feel like I’m still the manager.
  • Rizzo said the Nats aren’t far down the road on anything when it comes to the starting pitching market, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times tweets.  Right-hander Edwin Jackson has said that he would like to return to Washington but will also listen to offers from other clubs.
  • Meanwhile, Rizzo was honest when asked about the club’s decision not to extend Jackson a qualifying offer, explaining that he liked some free agent options better and didn’t want to get locked in, Kilgore tweets.
  • The Nationals have been in contact with Adam LaRoche‘s agents and continue to talk, tweets Comak.
  • Ladson also notes that the Nationals re-signed catcher Carlos Maldonado to a minor league contract and signed outfielder Ray Kruml to a minor league deal.  Maldonado elected free agency last month.

Red Sox, Rangers Pursuing Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox and Rangers are pursuing free agent Adam LaRoche, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The first baseman has garnered enough interest that he is expected to reject the Nationals' one-year, $13.3MM qualifying offer by Friday's deadline.

Morosi writes that the Rangers' interest in the 33-year-old is yet another sign that Texas is preparing for life without Josh Hamilton in 2013 and beyond.  The Red Sox, meanwhile, have been linked to LaRoche for a good while as they look to fill their void at first base.


Nationals Notes: Johnson, LaRoche, Second Base

Some links pertaining to the reigning National League East champions…

  • The Nats and manager Davey Johnson continue to work toward a new contract for 2013, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Johnson is under contract through 2014 as a special advisor to the team, and his contract language and salary need to be reworked if he is to manage once again.
  • Johnson tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he wants to manage again in 2013, and GM Mike Rizzo says he wants Johnson back in the position as well.
  • The team is not close to a new contract with Adam LaRoche, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. There is still mutual interest from both parties. The Nats made a qualifying offer to LaRoche, and he has until Friday to decline it. That outcome, of course, is all but a foregone conclusion. If the team fails to sign LaRoche, Michael Morse will likely man the position next season.
  • In that same piece, Ladson also notes that the team views Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi all as starting middle infielders. That evidence is supported by the fact that Ladson's source tells him the team is still in pursuit of a backup middle infielder despite the trio's presence. It seems implied that one of the three could be on the trading block this offseason, though that's just my speculation.
  • Lastly in his piece, Ladson notes that the Nats re-signed minor league outfielders Chris Rahl and Jimmy Van Ostrand to minor league contracts. Rahl, 28, hit .291/.339/.467 in 92 games for Double-A Harrisburg. Van Ostrand, 27, batted .310/.370/.465 in 80 games for Harrisburg after being picked up from the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters.


Rosenthal On B.J. Upton, Bourn, Morse, Ethier

Here's the latest from FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal as he dissects the buzz and rumors currently circulating around the league…

  • The addition of two former members from the Rays organization has nothing to do with a potential pursuit of center fielder B.J. Upton, says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
  • While some teams may prefer Upton over Michael Bourn thanks to his age (nearly two years younger) and the ability to hit for power, Rosenthal points out that Bourn's value comes from being a well-rounded player. 
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche's decision regarding his free agency may greatly impact Washington's course of action this offseason, especially with left fielder Michael Morse
  • The notion that the Dodgers may consider moving Andre Ethier just months after signing him to a five-year, $85MM contract simply wouldn't be the best move for Los Angeles heading into 2013, opines Rosenthal.
  • Look for the Yankees to re-sign Russell Martin, but the Bombers have had their eye on free agent David Ross, who has served as Brian McCann's backup with the Braves since 2009.
  • The Cardinals and second baseman Skip Schumaker may be parting ways this offseason as the veteran no longer has a defined role with the club thanks to the emergence of young talent. 

Nationals Make Adam LaRoche Qualifying Offer

The Nationals extended a qualifying offer to Adam LaRoche, Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The free agent first baseman now has one week to accept or decline the offer.

If LaRoche accepts, he’ll earn $13.3MM on a one-year deal in 2013. If he declines, he’ll be linked to draft pick compensation in free agency — his new team will have to surrender a top selection to sign him. LaRoche ranks 15th on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents.


LaRoche, Burnett Decline Options

Adam LaRoche and Sean Burnett declined their mutual options and are now free agents, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. The Nationals exercised their side of the $10MM mutual option on LaRoche's contract and the $3.5MM mutual option on Burnett's contract.

Both LaRoche and Burnett have said they'd like to stay in Washington. The Nationals retain exclusive negotiating rights for all of their free agents, including LaRoche and Burnett, until Saturday morning. Neither player gets a contract buyout in this case (it would have been $1MM for LaRoche and $250K for Burnett if the Nationals had declined).

LaRoche and the Nationals established some parameters for an extension last week, but haven't been in recent contact about a potential deal. Burnett hits the market as a candidate for a multiyear deal at a time that teams such as the Dodgers and Cardinals figure to seek left-handed relief.


Nationals Notes: Strasburg, LaRoche

The latest on the Nationals…

  • Stephen Strasburg hasn't yet qualified for arbitration, but that won't prevent him from earning a salary comparable to that of an accomplished first time eligible starter. Strasburg will earn $3.9MM in 2013, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The right-hander signed a record contract after the Nationals selected him first overall in 2009.
  • Adam LaRoche hasn’t been in contact with the Nationals about a possible contract extension in about a week, the free agent first baseman told Bill Ladson of MLB.com (Twitter link). Kilgore reported last week that the sides has established some parameters for a new deal.

Quick Hits: Baker, Hunter, Kershaw, LaRoche

Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera, who was named the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year. Here are some more links from around MLB on an off day for Cabrera's Tigers and the NL Champion Giants

  • The Twins will decline Scott Baker's $9.25MM option for 2013, but he remains a "high priority" for the team, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN reports. Baker's agent has been speaking regularly with the Twins and the sides could agree to an incentive-laden one or two-year deal. 
  • The Twins haven't yet called to inquire about minor league free agent Aaron Laffey, according to Wolfson.
  • Teams are standing by to see if the Angels make Torii Hunter a one-year qualifying offer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter link). If the Angels make Hunter a qualifying offer and he declines, other teams will have to surrender a draft pick to sign the outfielder. Otherwise, he'll be coveted as a free agent. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com suggested today that the Angels won't extend Hunter a qualifying offer (Twitter link).
  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said he will probably think about a long-term contract for Clayton Kershaw this coming offseason, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports (on Twitter). The left-hander's under contract for 2013 and under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2014.
  • The Nationals and Adam LaRoche have made “some progress” toward a new contract, the first baseman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. There’s nothing definitive at this stage, but the sides have started to establish parameters for a possible new deal.

NL East Links: Dickey, Nationals, Contracts

It was on this day in 1997 that the state of Florida got its first taste of the Fall Classic, as the Marlins hosted Game One of the 1997 World Series.  The Marlins got off to a winning start, scoring a 7-4 victory over the Indians and eventally capturing their first title after seven dramatic games.  Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • "[R.A. Dickey's] situation does not compare to any in baseball history," writes MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, noting Dickey's late-career success, the historical precedent of knuckleballers pitching well past age 40 and the price of high-quality pitching.  Dickey, 38, underwent minor surgery today to correct a torn abdominal muscle, a procedure that won't factor into the Mets' decision about signing Dickey to a multiyear contract.  The Mets hold a $5MM club option on Dickey for 2013, but DiComo thinks that if an extension can't be reached, the Mets could think it better to trade Dickey rather than pick up the option and see him potentially leave after the season.
  • Adam LaRoche's free agency creates some questions surrounding the Nationals' first base and left field situation, writes Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com.  The Nats could let LaRoche go and install Tyler Moore in left or at first, or they could re-sign LaRoche and either keep Moore on the bench or possibly use Michael Morse as trade bait. 
  • Carlos Beltran, his agent Dan Lozano and the Giants have been arguing over how much contact the Giants had with Beltran last winter, a dispute that Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog argues "speaks to the disconnect in language between reality, reporting and how sports fans form opinions about what goes on in the free agent and trade market."  Cerrone uses last offseason's negotiations between the Marlins, Mets and Jose Reyes as an example.

Quick Hits: Beltran, Prospects, Cano, Nationals

Chris Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong will oppose one another at AT&T Park a few hours from now. Here are some links from around MLB to keep you entertained while waiting for the NLCS to resume…

  • Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that the team had approximately a dozen offseason conversations with Carlos Beltran's agent, Dan Lozano. That's a stark contrast from Beltran's statements, who said the two sides never talked. Shea speculates that Lozano didn't convey any of the communication to Beltran, who is of course, squaring off against his former teammates in the NLCS.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America has a rundown of 10 minor league deals that reaped significant Major League benefits, including Gregor Blanco, Brandon Moss and Quintin Berry.
  • Mets 2011 draftee Bradley Marquez will undergo surgery on his left knee after sustaining an injury playing football at Texas Tech, writes ESPN's Adam Rubin. The Mets allowed Marquez to continue playing football in order to facilitate the signing of their 11th-round selection.
  • Alex Rodriguez may be in the midst of a disappointing October, but at least he has a long-term contract in place. Robinson Cano, an offseason extension candidate, may have diminished his bargaining power by hitting poorly in the postseason, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Plus, Rodriguez's struggles probably won't make the Yankees over-eager to spend a comparable amount on another struggling player.
  • The Nationals are set at every infield position but first base heading into the offseason, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. Ian Desmond could be in line for an extension this offseason, and Kilgore suggests a six-year, $45MM contract could work for both sides. It sounds as though there's a good chance Adam LaRoche will re-sign in Washington, even if he declines his side of the mutual option on his contract.
  • Giants GM Brian Sabean said coaches Ron Wotus and Dave Righetti would be excellent managers given the opportunity, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Wotus is the Giants' bench coach and and Righetti is the team's pitching coach.