Adam LaRoche Rumors
The Orioles would like to add power to the lineup and improve their defense at first base, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that the draft pick compensation that is tied to Adam LaRoche is a deterrent to executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
The 33-year-old LaRoche hit .271/.343/.510 with a career-high 33 homers in 2012 after missing the majority of 2011 with a torn labrum. For the third consecutive season, both the Fielding Bible and Ultimate Zone Rating praised LaRoche's defense at first base.
Connolly writes that multiple sources have told him the Orioles have legitimate interest in LaRoche. However, Duquette's plan since taking the reins in Baltimore has been to build through the draft. Forfeiting the 24th overall pick to sign LaRoche, who turned down a qualifying offer from the Nationals, would go against that mentality. The Orioles do also have the 35th pick, but Duquette prefers to stockpile picks rather than consider some expendable.
As for LaRoche himself, he doesn't mind playing the waiting game, according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. LaRoche is content to wait out his situation, and doing so could have an initially unexpected benefit. Should the Red Sox see their deal with Mike Napoli fall apart, LaRoche would have another interested suitor. There does appear to be a snag in the finalization of the deal between Napoli and Boston.
The latest links from around MLB...
- Agent Steve Hammond told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he expects to speak with Cardinals executives about the possibility of an extension for right-hander Adam Wainwright in Spring Training. Wainwright’s entering the final year of his contract with the Cardinals. Goold heard leading up to the Winter Meetings that the sides have not held “substantive” talks this offseason.
- The Nationals made Adam LaRoche a two-year, $25MM contract offer, but they haven’t boosted their proposal, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post reports. It’s possible the Rangers or Orioles could get involved in the bidding for the free agent first baseman.
- Free agent reliever Chad Durbin is on his way to California to meet with interested teams, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Durbin, 35, posted a 3.10 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 61 innings for the Braves this past season.
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders if Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette will pursue free agent infielder Kelly Johnson. The Orioles have suggested they’re satisfied with internal second base options such as Brian Roberts, Alexi Casilla, Ryan Flaherty and Yamaico Navarro, but Dubroff suggests Johnson could be a “nice addition.”
- The Rangers haven’t pushed hard for free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). It appears that they’ll look at other options following the departure of Hamilton. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that LaRoche's name came up today and that Texas might be willing to offer three years (Twitter link).
- The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, and are looking at mid-rotation starters, including Edwin Jackson, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Managers Robin Ventura and Bobby Valentine reflected on Kevin Youkilis' 2012 season with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Also within the piece, Sherman shows that the Giants won the 2012 World Series without spending more than $1.25MM on a free agent during the winter of 2011-12. Yes, Ryan Theriot was San Francisco's most expensive free agent signing a year ago.
- Multiple teams continue pursuing Nick Swisher, but the free agent outfielder is “not even close” to making a decision, Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). At least three clubs are in the mix and a fourth may be involved. The Indians appear to be pursuing Swisher aggressively, and the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and Orioles have also been linked to him.
Here are the latest links from the NL East...
- The Braves made an “aggressive” offer for Shin-Soo Choo before the Reds acquired him, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Mariners were also involved, but their offer wasn’t as strong.
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he has received “positive signs” from GM Mike Rizzo that Washington will re-sign free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche before Christmas, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Brewers were in on Sean Burnett before he signed with the Angels, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (all Twitter links). Morosi wonders if this means the Phillies would be willing to move a left-handed reliever. It's possible Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes would have become trade candidates if the Phillies had signed Burnett.
- Here's the latest on the Mets and R.A. Dickey.
MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker allows you to review the offseason's new contracts and navigate all remaining free agents. Here are the latest rumors on a handful of free agent position players...
- Bob Nightengale and Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today break down potential destinations and contracts for the top remaining free agents, including Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher. Nightengale notes (on Twitter) that the Rangers will get the last chance at signing Hamilton and reports that they haven’t yet gotten that call.
- Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com wonders what Adam LaRoche is waiting on. The Nationals offered the free agent first baseman a two-year contract and told him they won't offer additional years, Kolko writes. The Orioles, Mariners and Rangers could also have interest in the 33-year-old LaRoche.
- Scott Rolen has suggested to the Reds that he might want to return for another season and the team would be “more than happy” to give him a chance, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. The Reds, who recently agreed to terms with infielder Jack Hannahan, believe Rolen can help on and off of the field.
Earlier today, the Phillies acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins in exchange for starting pitcher Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May. Here's a look at some of the reaction and fallout from the deal plus more out of the NL East..
- Michael Young is thought to be weighing his professional life versus his personal life as he decides whether to waive his no-trade clause and join the Phillies, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Young's family lives in Texas but he would have the opportunity to start at third base for the Phillies.
- One baseball source believes that no MLB team will give Adam LaRoche anything beyond a two-year deal, tweets Bill Ladson of MLB.com. The Nationals are optimistic that they'll retain the first baseman.
- If the Nationals are able to re-sign LaRoche, the source believes that they will trade Michael Morse for prospects, Ladson tweets. The source adds that the Rays would be the best choice in trade discussions as they are loaded with pitching prospects.
- The Phillies are are expected to pursue a veteran starter to fill the hole vacated by Worley in the rotation and have already been calling around, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com tweets.
- Given the price that Denard Span went for, the price the Phillies paid for Revere is shocking, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Cameron argues that the Phillies have robbed Peter to pay Paul by filling their centerfield vacancy by creating a hole in their rotation.
- Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) also sees the deal as an overpay for the Phillies and expresses optimism that May can get back on the right track in Minnesota.
7:10pm: Multiple Nats officials are telling Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link) that the team has an informal Christmas deadline to resolve LaRoche's situation. The Nats remain optimistic he'll sign, though Jim Bowden tweets that the team has resolved not to go past two years.
6:49pm: The Nationals have been telling people they hope to get LaRoche signed by week's end, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, but they still don't want to guarantee more than two years.
4:36pm: The Nationals remain confident they'll re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He says that might lead to the Nationals sending Mike Morse to the Mariners, who have "big interest" in getting him back.
We heard yesterday that the Nationals are holding firm at a two-year offer with no option for LaRoche. LaRoche remains on Baltimore's radar, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who also have interest in Morse.
The Mets are shopping R.A. Dickey, the Nats agreed to sign Dan Haren, the Phillies are in on Michael Bourn, the Marlins are telling teams they won't trade Ricky Nolasco, and the Braves are exploring their left field options. Here are even more NL East notes:
- The Nationals are at two years for Adam LaRoche, and a third-year vesting option figures to be enough to get a deal done, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talked to LaRoche's agent last night. Rizzo is optimistic, but the team is staying at two years and not including an option.
- In speaking to reporters today, Nats manager Davey Johnson conveyed his desire to have LaRoche back in the middle of Washington's lineup: "Adam LaRoche is going to come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take all his cattle to Florida, I will" (Twitter link via Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com).
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to Scott Hairston's agent today, and believes the Mets may leave Nashville with an outfielder. Whether that player is Hairston or someone else, Alderson will be "careful" about giving out a multiyear deal (Twitter links via ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin).
- There has been virtually no trade discussion about Jon Niese in Nashville, with the Dickey talks at the forefront for the Mets, says Alderson (Twitter link via Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger).
Orioles general manager Dan Duquette spoke to reporters in Nashville tonight about Baltimore's plans for the week. Here are a few of the highlights from Duquette, along with other Orioles-related items (all links go to Twitter)....
- The Orioles like Adam LaRoche, but to say the team is in serious negotiations for him is inaccurate, says Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com. The two sides haven't been in contact at the Winter Meetings, according to Duqette.
- Duquette left the door open for the Orioles to look at top-tier free agents like Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke, but suggested that the team's focus is elsewhere, according to Melewski.
- Duquette has met with four teams and three agents today, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. None of those agents represented the Orioles' own free agents, says Kubatko.
- Baltimore is expecting arbitration to cost the team about $22MM this season, says Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. Our estimate is closer to $28MM, so it'll be interesting to see where we may have missed.
- The O's are interested in Gavin Floyd, according to Kubatko, though he cautions that this is far from the first time he's heard that over the years.
With Mike Napoli headed to Boston, one suitor was removed for the equation for Adam LaRoche. While that should improve the Nationals' leverage a little, there are still a handful of teams in the mix for the slugging first baseman. Here's the latest on LaRoche, with new updates added to the top throughout the day:
- The Rangers are not involved on LaRoche, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- Despite an earlier report that the Orioles are in "hard" on LaRoche, MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli hears the team's interest is minimal at best, as they're instead focused on trades.
- The Nationals believe the Rangers are the biggest threat to sign LaRoche, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- The Orioles are in "hard" on LaRoche, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark hears from an executive from one interested team (Twitter link).
- Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com had written earlier today that the Orioles, like the Nationals, didn't seem willing to go up to three years for LaRoche at this point.
- After Napoli didn't get a fourth year from the Red Sox, Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM expects LaRoche to have to settle for a two-year deal (Twitter link).
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted this morning that the Rangers and Mariners seemed to be the Nats' top competitors for LaRoche.