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LaRoche signing official

Jan 7, 2011, 9:04 PM EST

Adam LaRoche has passed his physical, so the Nationals this afternoon officially announced their signing of the veteran first baseman to a two-year contract.

LaRoche and the Nats came to terms on the deal Tuesday evening, but it was contingent upon his passing the physical. The contract calls for him to earn $7 million this year and $8 million next year. There is a $10 mutual option for 2013, but the Nationals have the ability to buy that out for $1 million. Thus, LaRoche is guaranteed to make at least $16 million over two years and could wind up making as much as $25 million over three years.

The 31-year-old is a career .271 hitter over seven big-league seasons with the Braves, Pirates, Red Sox and Diamondbacks. He has hit exactly 25 home runs each of the last three years and set a career high with 100 RBI last season with Arizona (though his .261 batting average, .320 on-base percentage and .468 slugging percentage allRead more »

  1. raymitten - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    The Nats press release "slyly" states: "LaRoche is one of just five big leaguers to have hit 20-plus home runs as a first baseman each of the last six seasons. He is joined on this list by Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Paul Konerko and Ryan Howard."Of course, their best option at first base, Adam Dunn, had hit over THIRTY FIVE home runs each of the past six seasons. Only he was in the outfield for much of the time. Just who do they think they are trying to fool with these kind of selective statements. I point out that Adam LaRoche is the only player named LaRoche that has hit over 20 home runs for the past six years. Andy never has done it.

  2. Souldrummer - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Any guess on who should get dropped from the 40-man? Mine would be Atahualpa Severino personally. All of the young relievers we're acquiring push him further and further down the food chain.Mattheus doesn't count, right? Neither does Stairs too, correct?

  3. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Of course, their best option at first base, Adam Dunn, had hit over THIRTY FIVE home runs each of the past six seasons. Only he was in the outfield for much of the time. Just who do they think they are trying to fool with these kind of selective statements. And Raymitten conveniently forgetting to state that Adam Dunn played first base for ONE ENTIRE YEAR ONLY. AND IS NOW an AL DH! And that should tell him something … but apparently he fails to get the message. Dunn IS NOT A FIRST BASEMAN. HE is NOW an AL DH like Vladimir Guererro. I think some would prefer ex-Expo Vlad at first base over Dunn at this point. Your argument smacks of someone believing that JMAX will someday be able to hit major league hitting … when all evidence appears to point to the contrary? Bottom line Dunn == DHLaRoche === first base.Sheesh some people will never give up.

  4. DFL - Jan 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    Nyjer Morgan or Alberto Gonzalez should be dropped from the 40.

  5. Feel Wood - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    "And Raymitten conveniently forgetting to state that Adam Dunn played first base for ONE ENTIRE YEAR ONLY. AND IS NOW an AL DH! And that should tell him something … but apparently he fails to get the message. Dunn IS NOT A FIRST BASEMAN."Nor does he want to be a first baseman. Because if he did, he would have taken the Nats' 3yr/$40M offer. Just who did Dunn think he was trying to fool with all his statements that he didn't want to be a DH, he wanted to play the field? Raymitten, I guess.

  6. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Now that they have Corey Brown … JMax seems superfluous.

  7. SonnyG10 - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Welcome Adam LaRoache. I really liked Adam Dunn but he was short term and Adam LaRoache is also probably short term. When Rizzo finds something better to improve the team, I'm certain he will make changes again.

  8. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    so true DFL so true! :)

  9. Natbiscuit - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    The players I am most willing to risk losing are Matis and Martin but nobody asked me.

  10. Original Nats Fan - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    remember, JMax had tj surgery, so he won't be in the mix for a while

  11. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Welcome to the new dude. So, will there be an introductory presser next week?

  12. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    JMax claims he will be ready in February. He isn't a pitcher so perhaps he will be able to throw? … not as accurately ;)Seems like a good candidate for waivers. With the TJ who will claim him? But Rizzo likes athleticism so JMax likely stays.

  13. BinM - Jan 7, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    @Biscuit: I'm kinda with you there – JD Martin has been a tough-luck SP in DC, and Martis has regressed over the last couple of years. FWIW, they're both out of minor-league options. @Anon 6:18- Maxwell's surgery was done on his non-throwing arm, IIRC. He's also out of minor-league options.

  14. sjm 308 - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    When you look at the options on the 40 man roster it is still not that tough to get rid of either Martis or JM IMO. Martis did regress last year and how many more chances will Maxwell get now that we have Ankiel and Brown? I am thinking another team might take a flyer on Martis but I am willing to bet that Maxwell skates through waivers unclaimed. Looking forward to the time when we actually have to anguish over who we will be releasing but we are not quite there yet.Go Nats!!

  15. N. Cognito - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    This is absolutely FANTASTIC news. Why? Because for the most part, it will put to rest the Santa Jello thread.And for people who don't understand: Nobody's trying to fool anybody. You always put a good spin on something when you're marketing."Come out to Nats Park this season to see the guy that hits 15 less homeruns per season than the guy we got rid of."

  16. N. Cognito - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Anonymous said… "JMax claims he will be ready in February."It's about time! We've been waiting.

  17. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    There's always room for Santa Jello, N. Cognito.

  18. BinM - Jan 8, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    1a: WTH is that inside of it? Looks like the composite monster from the remake of "the Thing"; All jiggling faces – yuk.

  19. Anonymous - Jan 8, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    GARRETT MOCK. Does anyone ever want to see him in a Nats uniform ever again?

  20. raymitten - Jan 8, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    My point re: Dunn was not to rehash water under the bridge. The point is in how the team introduced LaRoche to the fans. When you've let a fan favorite go who averaged nearly double LaRoche's power numbers, perhaps home runs isn't the first statistic you'd want to trump in a press release.

  21. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    Raymitten, since when is averaging 40 HR a year nearly double averaging 25 HR a year? It's a little over half again, not nearly double. And in the press release, LaRoche's HR number is what establishes the link to Pujols, Teixeira, Konerko and Howard, which is why they mentioned it. LaRoche is not here as a one-for-one replacement for Dunn, which is why they don't mention Dunn but instead mention what LaRoche brings to the table. The Nats have moved on from Dunn, perhaps you should too. Fan favorite or not (and my contention is that he was not as big a fan favorite as you make him out to be) he was bound to be replaced sooner or later. Just accept it.

  22. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:05 AM

    I don't know BinM, but that's the creepiest part.

  23. raymitten - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    OK to be exact. LaRoche averaged around 25 per year for the past six years, Dunn around 40. LaRoche hits 37.5 percent fewer home runs per season than Adam Dunn does. The point remains the same — in my opinion, consistency in power numbers which are significantly less than the first baseman last year is not the best way to sell Adam LaRoche to Nats fans as the new first baseman in a press release announcing his signing. In my opinion.

  24. Anonymous - Jan 8, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Maybe they should have put this in the press release? It might attract more parents and kids?Did you know that Adam LaRoche looks just like Bert from Sesame Street?LaRoche also hit 37 doubles and 2 triples last year. Which is one more double than Dunn hit. His RBI total ONLY THREE LESS? Dunn did score ten more runs … which is about equivalent the number of bases empty homers more than LaRoche. Impressive. most impressive.The only thing the Nats might really miss would be the walks both Dunn and Willingham managed to get. Okay, who drives them in? Who? JMax? Willie Harris maybe? Morgan? Kennedy? Guzman? Who? Other than Morse who?

  25. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    @Anon. 10:50:I believe you have touched on the main point: i.e., the bottom of the Nats lineup. If you pitch around Zim, you get LaRoche, who hits .150 unitl Memorial Day. Then you pitch around Werth to get to … whom? Morse looks like he's only going to play against lefties. So I would pitch around him to get to either Pudge/Ramos and our eighth batter (likely our .214-hitting second sacker) and then the pitcher.After Werth, this lineup looks like a lot of outs from the 6-7-8-9 holes. Just like the past three or four years.SP the same or slightly better; Bullpen slightly worse; defense much better; offense much worse.I see a lot of 8-3 losses.

  26. raymitten - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    I think they are expecting improvement in the young players Desi, Ramos and Espinosa as support for the new 'big three' of Zim, Werth and LaRoche. It may be a lot of outs. Or maybe not. The only real sure out I see right now in the lineup is Bernadina. I would play Morse full time in LF and see how he fares playing every day. Maybe he could be the protection in the lineup. If you compare his offensive numbers from last year to Nick Markakis, they aren't that far off. Of course we could have kept Willingham. Not sure why that hole in the outfield needed to be created.

  27. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    Hard to believe how, much grief Raymitten is getting for his perfectly reasonable point. To highlight AL's homers I when the guy he's replacing is one of the most consistent home run hitters in baseball history seems pretty dumb. Why not talk about his defense? That's why he's such an improvement over AD, right?

  28. Frediemac - Jan 8, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Did you know that Adam LaRoche looks just like Bert from Sesame Street?NOOOOOOYou must be talking about John "Bert" Lannan LOLYep put Lannan's mug next to bert and you will see they are one in the same person. LOL

  29. Sunderland - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    SBC, agree with your concern about the offensive production, but the back end of the lineup doesn't concern me near as much as the top of the lineup.As we saw in 2009, offensive production will begin and end with Nyjer. If he gets on, everything clicks. Once again though, hoping Corey Brown really pushes Nyjer. People note his .183 AVG in AAA last year, but there's a more relevant way to look at that. He started the year at AAA and really struggled, hitting .156 in 34 games.He got sent down to AA and found his stroke and never lost it again. He hit .320 with a .415 OBP and a .502 SLG for a .916 OPS in 90 AA games. He also stole 19 and only got caught once.Then he was sent back up to AAA with 7 games left in the season. He played all 7, went 9 for 26 (.433) with 3 HR's, slugged .808 and posted a 1.241 OPS.I really hope he shows up to spring training with that stroke and forces Rizzo and Riggleman's hand. I'd love to see him trotting out to CF on the afternoon of March 31.

  30. JayB - Jan 8, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    If we get production from CF in the Lead Off Spot and sound base running and defense there too then Sunderland is correct the offense if fine. Not great but good enough to win in the NL. If Brown wins the job over Morgan then I think we are improved over last year in the field and the plate and perhaps most importantly…in the head.Starting pitching is and will be the problem.

  31. Big Cat - Jan 8, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    You are right Sunshine Bobby. That is why The White Cobra will be in the lineup. Thats right……Harper! Ssssssshhh……don't tell anyone. Its all coming together now. Shhhhh….

  32. Andrew - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:26 PM Peter Gammons looks at the Garza trade. Excellent analysis!

  33. Anonymous - Jan 8, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    If Brown wins the job over Morgan then I think we are improved over last year in the field and the plate and perhaps most importantly…in the head.If Brown wins the job average age (Morgan in 30+) is drastically reduced especially with Ramos in the lineup. Given what he produced in winter ball and if Brown finds the power he showed in A/A+ ball with 30 homers you might just see home run production increase over last season. The important thing to watch for is homers and extra base hits with men on; not solo shots that usually only serve to pad home run stats. An post ST lineup featuring Brown and Ramos would represent a VAST improvement over last year's lineup out of spring training. Starting pitching is and will be the problem.Power pitchers going into ST look to be Zimmermann [TJ], Barthmaier [TJ], Mock [back/mental].They are going to need Maya to produce as he did in the winter league and with Cuba. And Marquis.

  34. TimDz - Jan 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    When do we find out who got cut from the 40 man roster?

  35. Anonymous - Jan 8, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Sorry TimDz. It was you. Good luck on ChiefsInsider. We all rooting for you to make it back.

  36. Mark'd - Jan 8, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    That will be interesting how Rizzo handles a great Spring by Corey Brown. Rizzo stuck by the Nyjer all through 2010 even though he was below average in every skill set except hockey fights and caught stealing.Nyjer could be tolerated on 2 accounts:1). Plays only against RH pitchers2). Steals only on steal signs by the 3rd base coach

  37. Doc - Jan 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Farid Rushdi's analysis of LaRoche's 'stats behind the stats' demonstrate, to my surprise, that AL is a suitable offensive. as well as more than suitable defensive, replacement for AD. Let's hope ST sorts out the starting pitching, and CF and LF.

  38. Anonymous8 - Jan 9, 2011 at 12:46 AM makes nice with Rizzo and writes a mostly positive article abou the Nats. If I were cynical, I would say it is to make nice to Rizzo after the Derrek Lee Baul'more comment earlier in the week but I'm not cynical and wouldn't say that. HahaJust to correct Boz, there were 150 HRs hit into the seats as 1 of the HRs was a Nyjer lowlight I-T-P HR and the Nats were 10th of 16th teams in HRs served up so not close to the worse.(Not to be a skeptic, but who's going to catch the 151 gopher balls that landed in the seats last season?)

  39. Anonymous - Jan 9, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    "Sorry TimDz. It was you. Good luck on ChiefsInsider. We all rooting for you to make it back."The hardest job a manager has to do … but, the organization has decided to go in a different direction.

  40. Anonymous - Jan 9, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    (Not to be a skeptic, but who's going to catch the 151 gopher balls that landed in the seats last season?) Well, next season. You can't catch last season's, they already landed.But don't throw 'em back, and stay off the grass, or you won't be catching any more anytime soon. Ahhh, yoy can't beat fun at the old ballpark! But they do their best to beat it to death.

  41. Mark'd - Jan 9, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    Anon8, I had read this article before and thought, crazy, Bozwell is being really nice after that article before this and now I am thinking your cynical thoughts may be relevant. Funny when you think about it. Kind of like the tough ump that gives you a makeup call.Now I look forward to the 10 foot shrine to a glove at the Bozwell residence!

  42. Anonymous - Jan 9, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    "Sorry TimDz. It was you. Good luck on ChiefsInsider. We all rooting for you to make it back.""The hardest job a manager has to do … but, the organization has decided to go in a different direction."By letting you go now, maybe you have time to catch on with another organization. RoyalsInsider needs some guys that can really keystroke it like you.

  43. N. Cognito - Jan 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    TimDz – There's always selling Lady Kenmores.

  44. natsfan1a - Jan 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    Took me a while to figure out the joke here, but in the spirit of fun (and not really wanting to have TimDz leave), maybe Tire World is hiring? (R.I.P. James Gannon).

  45. TimDz - Jan 9, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    1a…I haven't left…been enjoying the movie references…HOWEVER…my original question remains unanswered.

  46. Wally - Jan 9, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    White Sox are rumored to be hot after Soriano; if they get him, that bumps our pick for Dunn down to a 2d (IIRC). The value between a 1st and 2d round pick is pretty big, I think.So, assuming that Soriano's money would be market value, and the pro's and cons of the Nats signing a quality closer offset to neutral (their bullpen would move from good to excellent, but they don't expect to win enough to justify it), should they sacrifice their 3d round pick to keep a 1st rounder?

  47. NatBiscuit - Jan 9, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Whistling to my own tune here, but I gotta believe free agent relievers would have to expect to be traded within 6 to 18 months of signing so perhaps that is a deterrent to signing with the Nats — Not just that they don't believe the Nats will contend in 2011, but also that they cannot control where they land later. After all the perception may be that they are only holding a position warm until Storen or Rodriguez claim the spot.

  48. Sunderland - Jan 9, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Wally, that's a really interesting notion.Right now, we stand to get the White Sox 2011 1st round pick. But if they sign Rafael Soriano, then Tampa Bay would get the #1 and we'd get the #2?(If you can explain how that is determined, I'd appreciate it.)The White Sox #1 is the 23rd pick.There will be a lot of sandwich picks between the 1st and 2nd round. I don't think we could calculate how many sandwich picks there will be, but there were 18 last year and 17 the year before.So the White Sox 2nd round pick will likley be 30 + 18 + 23 = somewhere around pick number 71.Versus pick number 23. Yes, a big difference.So signing Soriano would cost us our 3rd round pick, but keep our Dunn compensation pick at #23 instead of letting it bounce to #71-ish.But of course, we'd need to beat any White Sox offer, right?

  49. Wally - Jan 9, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    I think that the reason it drops our pick is because Soriano was rated as a higher type A free agent by Elias than Dunn, so his former team gets the higher pick.Yeah, he has to want to sign with us, and there have been a lot of articles about how multi year contracts for relievers haven't worked out, but the notion of a really lock down bullpen has some appeal to me. Plus, bullpen guys almost always have value in July. I am sure that the 'experts' would hammer us for signing him, but i kind of like it.

  50. Anonymous8 - Jan 9, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Wally, I like that idea for picking up Rafael Soriano as he gives the Nats a great trade chip down the road if the Nats aren't in contention as they can use him just like they did Matt Capps.If the Nats signed Rafael Soriano I believe that costs the Nats a 3rd round Draft pick and they maintain their 2 1st round picks and the 2nd round sandwich pick.

  51. Wally - Jan 10, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Some other possible consequences of signing Soriano. Would Philly still get our 2d rounder, or does it go to Tampa? I don't know who ranked higher between Werth or Soriano (I think Werth, but not sure). But it would be nice to stick it to Philly. And I think that a team can only lose picks thru the 3rd round as free agent compensation. Meaning any other type A FA wouldn't cost us any picks. Not sure if I have this right, tho. Does anyone know if that is true?





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