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The Red Sox are talking to Adam LaRoche

Dec 27, 2012, 7:19 AM EDT

Adam LaRoche Getty Getty Images

Many assumed Adam LaRoche would be back with the Nationals before Christmas, but as their talks have reached stalemate, someone else has stepped in. Here’s Rosenthal, talking about a new development: The Red Sox are interested:

[The Red Sox] are talking to free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, according to major league sources. The discussions, first reported by Boston-based reporter Jen Royle, involve two- and three-year possibilities, sources say. LaRoche, 33, wants a three-year deal, and that has been the main obstacle in his talks with his former club, the Washington Nationals.

More notable than what this means for LaRoche is what in the heck this means for Mike Napoli. Who, while technically still unsigned by Boston, is supposed to have a deal in place here.

The holdup thus far is reportedly due to Napoli’s hip and the Red Sox’ desire to rework the $39 million contract the sides tentatively agreed to. The LaRoche development could mean that conversations between Napoli and the Sox to rework their deal are breaking down. Or it could just be the Sox pressuring Napoli. Either way, it’s worth watching both for what it means for Napoli and LaRoche.


  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    I assume that LaRoche would be happy with $39 million over 3 years. Signing him would cost the Red Sox their second round draft pick.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:35 AM

      My friend I think it’s going to take a few more dollars but the years I agree with you on.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      To counter the latest leak about LaRoche, it appears that Napoli’s agent has informed the Boston media that Napoli has drawn interest from at least one other team than the Red Sox.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 27, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    If the Red Sox offered Napoli 3 years / $39MM what do you think LaRoche is going to want? LaRoche is a better defensive 1st baseman and offensively he should generate better numbers in Fenway than he did in Washington. My guess is 3 years and $42 to $45MM total. Either that or the Nationals reconsider their position and re-sign him.

    • natslady - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Nats are not going to match 3/42. They have alternatives (Morse) plus Tyler Moore, Chris Marrero, and Matt Skole in the pipeline. I am a BIG LaRoche fan, and I truly hope something can be worked out, but if the Red Sox offer a deal like that, he’s gone.

  3. ryanrockzzz - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Victorino/Dempster/Napoli (If he signs)/Laroche/Hannrahan/Drew….all just average players.

    What exactly is the Red Sox plan? It seems to just take every decent player, sign them to a 3 year deal, and hope they can mesh together to win a WS? Just do not see it with this group, even if they add LaRoche.

    • psousa1 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      The plan (I think)is getting back to what made up a big part of their offense from 2003-2011 – OBP. This lineup will score runs. Hell, last year they were leading the AL in runs scored up until about mid June. That is how the Giants did it on offense last year. Posey and bunch of OBP guys.

      The bullpen will be pretty good. Hanrahan is a serious upgrade. Tazawa was incredible last year. There was not a better 8th innning guy in MLB than him.

      It will come down too – Lester, Bucholz, Lackey, Dempster and Doubrant. More worried about Lester and Lackey than the other 3.

  4. crooksmith - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Anybody else remember when they cut him 2 or 3 years ago

    • rje49 - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Wasn’t that Andy?

      • stlsportsfan84 - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        They traded for Adam and then about a week or 2 later turned around and traded him again (I believe to the Nats).

      • soxfan1966 - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        No. They had Adam as well back in ’09 — got him from PIT for a couple of minor leaguers, and then traded him away to ATL about two weeks later for Casey Kotchman. Not one of Theo’s better moves. I seem to remember that he didn’t bat much — maybe about a dozen PAs — but at least one was a homer.

      • rje49 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Nope, I was wrong. It was Adam for 6 games.
        It sucks to not have time to look these things up when you’re at work. Um, here comes the boss again…

  5. xjokerz - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Agreed Ryan. Idk What the sox are doing. Guess they wanted their own melting pot

  6. giantboy99 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    The Sox are going to be a hot mess

    • mazblast - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Which is something we old fans are used to seeing. The team Duquette mostly assembled and which Theo gets and takes all the credit for was an aberration.

  7. theskinsman - Dec 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    If Napoli isn’t healthy enough to go, why not? Given that this isn’t exactly a banner off season for talent, and the sox still haven’t added the biggest need,starting pitching This is clearly a ‘bridge year’.
    On my scorecard,Toronto has gone up, the O’s about the same,the yanks down and the Red Sox only had one direction to go-up.
    Should Lester and Clay rebound to their normal performance level, I think the team will be a bit over .500.

    • soxfan1966 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I’d much rather see the Sox give three years to a guy who can actually play First than a DH-in-waiting like Napoli.

      Starting pitching market wasn’t really too deep this off-season, either, and considering the cost of what’s available as well as the potential at the mid-levels of the farm system the Sox are probably wise for not diving into that market.

      Toronto has certainly improved enough on paper to take the AL East, and I can’t see the Yankees slipping too much — as much as I hate them I’d give them a second-place finish. TB is simply too gritty a team to write off, but I can’t see their offense being much to write about. While the O’s were the feel-good story last season, I can’t see them playing at that same level in 2013 without some big improvements to their starting pitching, and they have a few holes in their infield for next season. I think that Boston and Baltimore will contend for last, with both finishing above .500 (the AL Central looks to be the whipping boy next season).

    • uyf1950 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      What exactly is Buchholz “normal performance level”?
      – In 2007 he pitched exactly 22.2 innings a season he started 3 games
      – In 2008 he pitched exactly 76 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 1.76
      – In 2009 he pitched exactly 92 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 1.89
      – In 2010 his best year with an All Star appearance he pitched 173.2 innings with a 17-7 record and had a strikeout to walk ration of 1.79
      – In 2011 he pitched exactly 82.2 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 1.94
      – In 2012 he basically stunk the first 2 plus months of the season pitched well the middle 2 months and was very inconsistent to bad the last 2 months of the season.

      • theskinsman - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:43 AM

        uyf, you forgot to include Bucholz little league years. I forgot, any thoughts that the Red Sox just might not have the worst season ever 2 years in a row are not to be posted, lest it come to pass.
        For those whose lips aren’t pressed so tightly against A-roids acne ridden buttocks that they can’t think, rebounding back to normal performance level would mean that said pitchers have a decent to good to great year. They have the manager back they performed well under,the hated Bobby V is gone, the roster was gutted.

        So I see a chance for a better season.

        Meanwhile,the almighty yankees signed Matt Diaz?? What time is the parade in the canyon of heros scheduled?

  8. lphboston - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    The Sox have signed a bunch of B, B+ players but no difference makers. In Boston it’s all about marketing — keeping their phony sellout streak alive and generating TV ratings. Since they know they can’t be awful again without getting slaughtered by the fans, they make some stopgap signings and keep the pink-hat fan base energized.

    As far as LaRoche goes, they would eventually regret giving him three years becuase it’s hard to see him putting up the same numbers in Boston (33 HRs) as he did in DC. And ALR is a no-emotion, JD Drew kind of guy who might get eaten alive in Boston if things go south — and they will.

    Ironically, DC’s firewall at firdst base (Morse) is the kind of player who the low-information, casual Boston fans would like, so if LaRoche decides the grass isn’t greener, maybe Rizzo could fleece Cherington and still keep ALR. Though outside of Pedroia, I don’t see any position player the Sox have who could start for the Nats this year.

    • Glenn - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Condescend much?

  9. martysbetter - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Red Sox fans have gotten really really really spoiled – does no one remember this team pre-04? The Lovable Losers? The days when the FO would consistently make decisions that make your head shake?

    When did we become such entitled little babies?

    I, for one, welcome another age of mediocrity in Boston – does anyone really think this team is one piece away from winning a World Series? Two?

    Get real, pink hats – you aren’t going to be a World Series contender every single year, get over it.

    I’d rather the FO recognize this fact and sign these 2/3 year deals to see what the farm system comes up with than mortgage the future and end up hamstringing the team just to appease the ATROCIOUS media and insufferable fan base.

    This team lost its soul a longggggg time ago, there was a time when Sox fans were considered some of the most intelligent fans in baseball – what this team has become is despicable.

    Let the team suck for a while, see what the kids can do – when the opportunity arises, flex the financial muscle and make a push for the World Series – this is NOT that time.

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