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Report: Nationals sign Adam LaRoche to two-year deal

Jan 4, 2011, 8:02 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

It was more of a matter of “when” than “if,” but according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network, the Nationals have signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract. He’s expected to take a physical on Thursday in order to finalize the deal.

Terms aren’t yet known, but Jen Royle of reported last week that the two sides were discussing a two-year deal worth $8-9 million per season.

LaRoche batted .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs, 100 RBI and a 788 OPS with the Diamondbacks last season. While the 31-year-old first baseman has quietly hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last seven seasons, that feat doesn’t look nearly as impressive when the man he is replacing at first base, Adam Dunn, has slugged at least 38 home runs per season during the very same timespan.

At the very least, LaRoche figures to be better than Dunn defensively and will be a lefty bat to balance Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman in the Nats’ lineup.

UPDATE: Ben Goessling of hears that the contract is believed to be “in the neighborhood” of $16 million, so not far off from the range I mentioned above. I’m at a loss to understand why the Nationals felt compelled to give him a two-year contract. It’s not like there are many teams left that have a need for a first baseman.

UPDATE II: The contract actually includes a $10 million mutual option for 2013. Yes, a third year. Regardless, he is still guaranteed $16 million. LaRoche will make $15 million over the first two years while the option has a $1 million buyout.

  1. zunitalks - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Adam LaRoche doesn’t give a flying fart for any team he plays for. I watched him for years with the Pirates, and this guy just doesn’t give a d***. He waits for a bus to take him to first base – absolutely no hustle. He only runs when he is absolutely sure he has a hit. Why anybody would give this $10 to play for them is beyond me. He has no team enthusiasm and is a complete wet blanket. If he gets hired by the Nationals I feel sorry for the fans in Washington. Watching this guy play is as much fun as having a root canal. As for what he did in Pittsburgh, good riddance to bad rubbish.

  2. grumpy00 - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Amen………..when he was a brave he was as exciting as watching paint dry……good luck nats. ( Werth will be wondering what the heck he was thinking by June.)

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