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Adam LaRoche expected to be Nationals’ first baseman next season

Dec 23, 2011, 10:30 PM EDT

laroche swing Getty Images

We’ve heard plenty of speculation that the Nationals could emerge as a suitor for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder, but general manager Mike Rizzo is doing his best to downplay the situation.

The Nationals held a conference call earlier today to discuss the Gio Gonzalez deal. Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Rizzo was asked flatly whether Adam LaRoche would be the club’s first baseman next season. His answer? “That’s correct.”

LaRoche signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Nationals last offseason, but was only limited to 43 games this past season before undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in June. Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post earlier this month that the 32-year-old is back to 100 percent.

We’ll have to take Rizzo’s word on the matter for now, but remember that the Nationals were heavily involved on Mark Buehrle before he signed a four-year, $58 million deal with the Marlins earlier this month. The newly-acquired Gonzalez is only expected to make a little over $4 million through the arbitration process, so there could be some room left in the budget. Oh, and don’t forget that Rizzo has quite a lengthy history of doing business with Scott Boras. Like it or not, the Nationals will be mentioned as a possibility until Fielder is signed, sealed and delivered somewhere.

  1. rhmurphy - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    He just doesn’t want to damage his relationship with LaRoche if he can’t sign Fielder.

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    At this point I have no idea where Fielder will land. I’m also beginning to wonder if he’s going to get anywhere near the Pujols deal money.

    • dwrek5 - Dec 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      I have a feeling he will. Boras got Matt Holliday his money even though there was only one bidder.

  3. phillyphever - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    So, I’m guessing that means Morse is gonna be the everyday LF for this team next year right?

  4. sfs1 - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    I guess Chris Marrero just sucks like that.

  5. natsattack - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    Maerro is hurt

  6. dcfan4life - Dec 24, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Chris Morrero has no pop. He hits for average. Thats great for a lead off man who plays anywhere but first base and catcher. Thats not acceptable for a first basemen. The Nationals like Morrero, but what club ever has a high average first baseman who hits 3-5 home runs in 162 games, cuz thats what Morrero would do. He hit 0 last year in what, 25 games. I watched a lot of those games and im not sure he ever made the warning track. A healthy Laroche is the better option no doubt. When hes on he hits for average, can get 30 home runs, and is a gold glove caliber first basemen. If he gets hurt, Morse will move to first base over Morrero.

    • phillyphever - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      Basically a poor man’s Daric Barton right?

  7. skeleteeth - Dec 25, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Hopefully he doesn’t get traded for himself or something.

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