Results tagged ‘ Adam LaRoche ’
Nats declined to exercise options on LaRoche, Soriano; Cabrera, Hairston, Schierholtz become free agents
WASHINGTON — Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielders Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz are now free agents.
The Nationals also declined to exercise their options on first baseman Adam LaRoche and right-hander Rafael Soriano. None of the players are expected to be back with the team in 2015.
LaRoche reached the 90-RBI plateau for the fourth time in his career, but he is not coming back because the Nationals plan to put Ryan Zimmerman at first base. Recently, LaRoche said Zimmerman will be a quality first baseman.
“I think he is going to be an outstanding first baseman. I said that last year,” LaRoche said about Zimmerman. “He has one of the best gloves I’ve ever seen. He is an athlete. When the time comes, whether it’s next year or the following year or this postseason, he can handle that bag for sure.”
Soriano had a 6.48 ERA after the All-Star break. Soriano simply couldn’t keep his slider down in the strike zone and lost his closer’s job to Drew Storen
General manager Mike Rizzo decided to acquire Cabrera from the Indians before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cabrera provided steady defense at second, as Anthony Rendon shifted over to third base.
After coming from Cleveland, Cabrera expressed his desire to play shortstop, but after the Nationals were eliminated from the National League Division Series, he said he was willing to stay at second base. Going to the World Series is more important to him than playing shortstop. It is believed that the Nationals will not pay a lot of money to keep Cabrera.
Hairston and Schierholtz were part of the bench this past season. Hairston got off to a great start, but he tailed off dramatically starting in June and was taken off the roster during the NLDS.
As a pinch-hitter, Schierholtz ranks sixth among active players with at least 150 pinch-hit appearances. He started the season with the Cubs, but after getting released on Aug. 13, he signed a Minor League deal with the Nationals five days later. He made $5 million in 2014. It’s doubtful the Nationals will pay Schierholtz that kind of money in ’15, though he could be back on a Minor League deal.
— Bill Ladson
When we last heard from first baseman Adam LaRoche and the Nationals, there had been “a little bit of progress” toward a new contract. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are still trying to finalize a deal with free agent Mike Napoli, with Boston GM Ben Cherington noting that he’s “got to keep active” looking for a Plan B at first base if Napoli doesn’t work out.
Perhaps LaRoche could be Plan B for the Red Sox. Ken Rosenthal of FOX and MLB Network reported on Thursday morning that the two sides are talking about two- and three-year deals.
It’s well established at this point that LaRoche wants a three-year contract, but the Nationals have been firm in their desire to stick to a two-year deal. Back on Dec. 1, LaRoche told MLB.com that he’s “made it as clear as I can that I want to come back” to the Nationals. LaRoche posted a .271/.343/.510 batting line with 33 homers and 100 RBIs in 2012, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger while leading Washington to a first-place finish in the NL East.
There is still plenty of uncertainty regarding Napoli’s status in Boston. It’s been more than three weeks since his three-year, $39 million deal was first reported, but the contract has not yet been made official. According to Rosenthal’s report, Boston’s doctors found a problem with one of Napoli’s hips during a team physical, and the Red Sox are attempting a “major renegotiation” with him.
While LaRoche could very well be Boston’s preferred Plan B to Napoli, Rosenthal acknowledges that this development could also be an attempt to create leverage for both sides. If Boston lands LaRoche, Napoli would be left without a contract, so he could feel pressured into accepting the renegotiated deal. And while the Nationals have an ideal replacement at first base in Michael Morse, they might feel pressured to take LaRoche’s desire for a three-year deal more seriously if the Red Sox are indeed considering signing him.
With the conclusion of the World Series, it’s that time of year again. And with recent changes to the basic agreement, the Hot Stove is sure to be heating up even earlier this year. Free agents now have just five days to exclusively negotiate with their original team. Beginning with the sixth day, they are free to sign with any team.
- FoxSportsArizona.com reported on Tuesday that the D-backs aren’t expected to bring back pitcher Brandon Webb in 2011. The news isn’t a huge surprise considering rotator cuff and labrum injuries cost Webb nearly all of the last two seasons. Webb appeared in several Instructional League games this fall, but his fastball topped out in the low-80s. Webb carries a large upside, though, if healthy, one that figures to interest several teams this offseason.
- Yankees captain Derek Jeter is officially a free agent, but he’s widely expected to return in pinstripes. Hal Steinbrenner told Michael Kay on ESPN 1050 on Monday that the Yankees “absolutely want” Jeter back. Steinbrenner did say however that there’s always the possibility that negotiations could get messy. That’s not the Yanks’ plan, however.
- The D-backs have elected to decline their half of the option for first baseman Adam LaRoche, opting instead for a $1.5 million buyout of his contract. LaRoche is coming off a season in which he hit 25 homers and notched 100 RBIs for the first time in his career.