Adam LaRoche Rumors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
The Orioles' season came to a close tonight as the Yankees took Game 5 behind an impressive complete game outing from C.C. Sabathia. Despite the disappointing exit coupled with heartbreak of Game 3, it was a remarkable season for a team that was never expected to win 93 games and qualify for the postseason. More out of Baltimore and other items from the Eastern divisions..
- Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos said that the club has yet to discuss a contract extension with Buck Showalter, but he sounds ready to have those talks if the manager does, writes Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com. Showalter is under contract with the O's through the 2013 season.
- The Nationals opened talks with Adam LaRoche on a multi-year deal at some point during the season to keep him from free agency, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. However, nothing is close at this time. LaRoche has a $10MM for 2013 but has made it clear that he would like to stay put in Washington.
- The Yankees are looking for the right investor to buy out some of their partners in the highly-profitable YES Network, according to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. Current partners like Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity usually sell their investments in companies rather quickly, but have held on because of the station's incredible success.