When we spoke to executives in March, Adam LaRoche's name came up as one of the best free agent signings of the offseason. Power is typically expensive on the free agent market, but the Diamondbacks signed LaRoche in January to a one-year, $6MM deal with a mutual option for 2011. LaRoche had reportedly turned down a better proposal from the Giants, but the first baseman qualified that offer by explaining "It was two years with three- or four-year options."
LaRoche is off to a .255/.367/.480 start for Arizona in his first 120 plate appearances. He answered a long-time criticism by hitting well in the season's first month, though he'd done that in '09 too. LaRoche has also mashed left-handed pitching in a tiny 32 plate appearance sample; that deficiency may also have been overstated.
On April 22nd, ESPN's Jayson Stark named LaRoche as a potential midseason trade candidate. Stark suggested LaRoche's mutual option could be a complication, as it increases by $2MM if he's traded. I don't think that will be a concern, though, as mutual options are rarely exercised by both sides.
Which contenders could use a boost at first base? The Rangers might consider a rental, depending on how Justin Smoak performs over the next few months. The Mariners could find LaRoche to be an upgrade over Casey Kotchman, which would be interesting since the two were traded for each other last year. The Marlins could take LaRoche for a few months, as they did with Nick Johnson last year. LaRoche may join Brandon Webb, Chris Snyder, and Chad Qualls on the trade market if the D'Backs become sellers later this year.
I’d put down the A’s, but LaRoche doesn’t really make sense as a DH, and the A’s have good production from Barton at 1B.
knew the rangers would be thrown out there as soon as i saw the name. its a nice fit with the ballpark, but i think smoak will work out. davis was sent down even though he can play 1st, 3rd and corner outfield. i think that means they see him as still developing/figuring things out and not as a role player. i think one of the two will be more than adequate.
if they were to both struggle and the rest of the team was still in contention it would be a possibility. i think someone will be much more desperate than the rangers however
The Braves could use him for sure. Kelly Johnson would slot in nicely in Atlanta as well.
It’s a shame the Braves never really had a chance to get either guy on their team for 2010.
I hate to say it but the Braves could. Love Roachie and knew we’d miss him… I was with the team not signing him until I saw that he signed a 1 year deal for 6 mil… we could of got that. And I was always against releasing KJ, and now we all see why. Would be better having him in LF than melky. Well I doubt we get them back, I still have hope in Glaus and he proved me right last night so maybe that will keep up. And Melky… well at least he can play all 3 outfield positions….
An even better discussion…how about his brother? Will he end up with the Twins?
Andy will most likely not be traded unless the Twins or anybody else massively overpays. I remember when the A’s asked about him over the winter, Huntington wanted Ryan Sweeney and Gio Gonzalez in return. So a trade for Andy is highly unlikely.
Makes more sense to have Alvarez playing 1B and keeping LaRoche at 3B.
LaRoche is the better defender, and PVez’s bat will be awesome regardless of where you stash him.
F LaRoche…Turning down a 2 yr with options for 3 and 4…He forgot along the way that he is Adam LaRoche.
Good luck getting a fat contract with Pujols / Gonzalez / Berkman / Pena / D. Lee in competition.
He didn’t accept that 1yr $6 mil offer until after the Braves and everyone else laughed at his $30/3 demands. It’s not the Braves’ fault that he’s playing somewhere else now, it’s his and/or his agent’s.
If the Mariners have the money to spend when/if the D’backs look to start selling they should consider him. That is if they aren’t too far out of contention by then. That offense is brutal. Gotta think they would have rather kept Garko and let Sweeney go but they went with leadership instead of baseball skills. Leadership isn’t winning them any games though, it’s time for them to start bringing in people who can still hit.