The Nationals have officially announced their two-year agreement with Adam LaRoche. The deal includes a mutual option for 2013. LaRoche will be paid $7MM in 2011 and $8MM in 2012 before a $10MM mutual option/$1MM buyout comes into play.
Like Adam Dunn, the Nationals' previous first baseman, LaRoche is consistent. The 31-year-old has hit at least 20 homers and posted an OPS of .775 or better for six consecutive seasons. LaRoche has hit exactly 25 homers in each of the past three seasons and has a career .271/.339/.488 line.
The D'Backs will obtain a supplementary first round pick since LaRoche, a Type B free agent, turned down arbitration. However, the Nationals do not have to surrender a draft choice to sign the first baseman.
LaRoche joins Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond on the Nationals' infield. The team has expressed interest in adding a veteran utility infielder before the season starts, but the starters are in place.
As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, the first base market has thinned out considerably now that Lee and LaRoche have agreed to deals.
GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals front office negotiated the deal with LaRoche's representatives at SFX. Rizzo's predecessor, Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio first reported that the sides were nearing a deal (on Twitter) and Peter Gammons first reported the agreement (on Twitter). Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post and Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com added the salary details (Twitter links)