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LaRoche deal is official

Jan 8, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT

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Adam LaRoche will return to the Nationals for 2013 and 2014.

Updated at 4:20 p.m.

The Nationals' unwillingness to budge on their longstanding, two-year offer to Adam LaRoche paid off in the end. LaRoche today agreed to the deal after failing to find another club willing to give the free agent first baseman the guaranteed, three-year contract he sought all along.

The final contract, which was officially announced by the Nationals late this afternoon, guarantees $24 million. LaRoche will earn salaries of $10 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014, with a $2 million buyout in 2015 if either side elects not to pick up a $15 million mutual option.

The Nationals had expressed interest from the start in re-signing LaRoche, who led the club with 33 homers and 100 RBI while winning his first career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. And the 33-year-old veteran had said all along he preferred to stay in Washington after playing a vital role in the Nats' first-ever playoff run.

But LaRoche made it clear from the beginning he wanted a three-year contract and was willing to wait it out to secure what he felt was the best offer from any club — the Nationals or otherwise — that also presented an opportunity to compete for a World SeriesRead more »

268 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    GoSM, come on. Os did bring back Nate McLouth.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    sjm308 said… Ghost, can you imagine being an Orioles fan and hearing all the talk, year after year about signing x-y-z and in the long run all you get is Nate McClouth for 1 million dollars. January 08, 2013 3:31 PM I was one of those fans and STH pre-2002 and lived it until I moved away. Once Cal left, it was downhill fast and Angelos was exposed for what he was. It became the parade of re-treads and the greatest sham ever was bringing Sammy Sosa in for his 1 year deal.Sosa departed so abruptly that he left all of his personal belongings in his locker. Angelos had a clubhouse kid clean out the locker and throw it all in the trash. Of course the under-paid clubhouse attendent sold everything but its the way things are run there.Should have seen the writing on the wall in how he treated Davey Johnson like a criminal and banishing Jon Miller.Just a horrible human being.

  3. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Peric, Not grief me I hope? I have always said that Rendon is and will remain a 3rd baseman. I think Zim at 1st is now at least 2 years away.

  4. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    SJM — you do not need any rational reason to hate the Yankees. I consider that emotion raw and unexplainable. I'll be skipping the exhibition game — I had my fill of pinstripes last June at Nats Park.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Faraz, Nate McLouth. LMAO and they let there biggest power bat walk in Mark Reynolds.

  6. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Ghost, You are on. But a couple of games in the minors doesn't count. Let's say a minimum of 25 games is the bar.

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Section 222 said… "I say Rendon sees time at 2nd base this year."You mean in the minors, right? January 08, 2013 3:33 PM Yes, Minors. I want to be 3-3 since I predicted Lombo would play Left Field in ST last year and Detwiler would pitch out of the bullpen at some point in 2012.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    JD, I was thinking 10 games at 2nd. I think most of his time will be at 3rd.I'm picturing him as the perfect Placido Polanco with a better bat.I love the kid. I think Rizzo has to force the issue but most of it is dependent on Espi.

  9. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Ghost, Comparing Rendon to Lombo is apples to oranges. This is a star level top prospect and I don't think he will be used in any kind of platoon framework; I think this will diminish his value and increase his risk of serious injury.

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    I'm definitely not comparing Lombo and Rendon. Rendon is not a platoon guy.

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Rendon is a 155 game a year guy as a starter.

  12. DaveB - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    While generally fans overvalue their players, and the Willingham deal is probably the best comparable, it could get interesting with MM. If Tampa and the Yankees are both interested (and the Os also pretend to be), they all could start to see him as a key final piece. And then if they also want to keep him away from a rival, we could get a little bidding war.Jake McGee + a prospect here we come.No reason not to dream a little.

  13. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Feel, I realize my plan is borderline if not totally crazy but just like I support HRod, I am going to stay with keeping Morse. When I play faux GM, there is no box to think inside of. You are completely correct about having two players making starter money with only one playing and that is the point I was trying to make about the Yankees. They have no problem paying huge salaries and then worrying about who starts later on.

  14. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I think Morse is probably out of the age group that they want to extend. There are some players under control now that they might want to look at . Start with JZim. I think one of the reasons Rizzo is avoiding extending most of the older players is that he sees the money train coming down the track– with Harper and Strasburg written on the front. I used to want the team to change- now I hate it. I suppose it will take me a while to get used to Span. With no press conference, it doesn't seem real yet. I got excited about Gio when I saw him in uniform chatting it up with the media. That being said– Go Nats!!!!!

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Rizzo's phone is ringing off the hook. He won't make the mistake he made with trading Willingham for too little.

  16. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    I think Zim at 1st is now at least 2 years away.Sans injury. Yes. Keep in mind, LaRoche is 33 and coming back after a significant enough injury that he basically lost an entire season. Zimmerman is coming off three straight years where an injury landed him on the DL for an extended period of time and made him ineffective (without the cortisone shot).Rizzo HOPES its 2 years. He probably feels, as do many, that seasoning in the minors for at least 2 years is the right protocol for Rendon and most any new prospect.But, keep in mind Rendon is a far more mature hitter than Bryce Harper and pretty much any prospect the Nats have had since they arrived and perhaps well before. If Rendon is hitting. And they advance him to Syracuse to challenge him. And an injury or injuries occur you have to know what Davey will do.

  17. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Rizzo's phone is ringing off the hook. He won't make the mistake he made with trading Willingham for too little.Especially since, with a team like Tampa, he could package Lombo too and come away with a young starter or so … a trade with the Rays could end up not just with Morse leaving but it could be a swap of prospects. The Nats need to load up on pitching in the minors.

  18. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Swami, That's a really good take on the process. You want your core key players extended for a bunch of years but you don't want everyone on long term contracts because that takes away your flexibility. If you look around you see that most veterans got as little in years as possible. I think Lohse, Bourne and Soriano are discovering this reality and so is Mr. Boras.

  19. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Couple more things and then I am out againCandide – my Morse plan is not just for injuries. I see Morse playing both corner outfield spots, first and even some 3rd base as Davey rests all of his stallions in our march to the World Series. Of course, there will be injuries and then he steps right in. Ghost, I also was a ST holder at Memorial and Camden when we had no team. Jumped immediately as soon as our Nationals were announced and never really had an alliance with the O's but it was major league baseball.I want everyone to know that my first move as Faux GM is to extend J.Zimmnn!! That done, I move toward giving Morse starter money for 2 years and letting him know we are on the road to a WS.Go Nats!!

  20. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    The Yankees haven't had much success lately? Last year they won the AL East by winning more games than anyone else in the American League (#2 overall in MLB to the Nationals) and made it to the ALCS. That's a pretty good "unsuccessful" season!Here's a thought: Morse and Espinosa to the Yankees for Robinson Cano. Both Morse and Cano are short timers, but Espinosa would offer the Yankees (who are trying to get under the salary cap in 2014) a cost controlled player with upside. The Nationals would have Cano at 2b for this season, plus the draft pick after making a tender offer after the season. Lombardozzi holds the fort in 2014 until Rendon is polished at second base.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Peric, you knew once Ladson wrote this week on shifting Zim to 1st it would mean it wouldn't happen.I wrote 2 weeks ago my gut feeling had shifted that LaRoche would be back. Rizzo also got him on a team friendly deal even though he did throw in another mutual option.

  22. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    I almost think that Adam's time off extended his career. He seemed refreshed and in love with the game all over again. I have heard players say that after a rehab they were in better shape than they had been before. I see us getting a good couple of years out if him.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    sjm308 said… Ghost, I also was a ST holder at Memorial and Camden when we had no team. Jumped immediately as soon as our Nationals were announced and never really had an alliance with the O's but it was major league baseball.I want everyone to know that my first move as Faux GM is to extend J.Zimmnn!! That done, I move toward giving Morse starter money for 2 years and letting him know we are on the road to a WS.I totally agree on JZim. Love him too (same agent as ALR). I would love to keep Morse but only if the trade value isn't there. I wish they had done the same with Willingham at the time.I'm sure Davey would love to have Morse as his 1st option off the bench but reality says it just won't happen. Morse wants to play everyday and like Rizzo did for Lannan this year, he wasn't selfish and let the player go.

  24. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Watching RA Dickey press conference. He is one weird dude.

  25. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    I want to be 3-3 since I predicted Lombo would play Left Field in ST last year and Detwiler would pitch out of the bullpen at some point in 2012.So you didn't make a single prediction that didn't come true? Wow. Do you give investment advice?

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Section222, you don't want my investment advice. I crapped out in the tech bubble.I probably pushed that 3-3 since I thought Detwiler wouldn't materialize into a true starter.I would be so happy to have Espi prove me wrong.

  27. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    I'm still the one that picked the Nats to win the NL East and that Lannan would end up in AAA. Waaaaaay before everyone else.

  28. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I wish they had done the same with Willingham at the time.Rizzo took a risk on two interesting prospects the A's had. Both are still with the team. Both are on the 40-man. Both have huge potential to contribute.Worse was Nyjer Morgan for Cutter Dykstra … but he appears to be improving …

  29. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Man, did this place ever wake up! Very, very glad to see ALR coming back. Especially since Davey wanted him for his last hurrah.Rizzo does it, again. He has plenty of time to work a good deal for Morse. Someone, somewhere, will get hurt in ST and Morse will be worth more then, than he is now. Or maybe Mike can work a deal that he likes sooner, rather than later. Either way, big Mike will be traded, and that is the best option for him, as well as for the NATS. Moore, or Skole, is the future at 1b when ALR is done. If I were Davey or Rizzo, I would much rather have those 2 guys learn that position from ALR than from Morse.If Ryan's surgically repaired shoulder fixes his throwing motion, the Nats will have a great defensive IF to go with a great OF. Davey will have 4 LH bats in the lineup and 3 LH bats in reserve, including one LH power bat (Tracy), to go with one RH power hitter (Moore), and a pinch runner (Bernie) to fill out a very strong bench.The young rotation will be even better than last year's, given an extra year's experience and maturity, and a better arm in Haren than EJax was last year, all other things being equal.Not much left for Rizzo to do now. Maybe a lefty reliever or starting depth.This year, the Nats will be the team to beat in the NL East.

  30. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Someone, somewhere, will get hurt in ST and Morse will be worth more then, than he is now. Then Tyler Moore moves into that role and deservedly so … until Anthony Rendon is ready then everything changes again. Marerro and Skole are still out there.I admit I'd rather see Morse in left field and Harper in CF. Morse isn't the best left-fielder though so … we end up with Span. But if he can stay health and hit 40 homers plus pull out a .300 batting average he could really help a team like the Rays replacing BJ Upton's bat if not his glove. And the Rays prospects could most definitely help the Nats. Rizzo almost had a left-handed starter in Matt Moore for Adam Dunn if Stan Kasten and ownership hadn't put the kibosh on it. Hopefully, the Nats will get that level or close quality of prospect back for Morse and perhaps others.

  31. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    "Here's a thought: Morse and Espinosa to the Yankees for Robinson Cano."Ok, that's one I did say already.

  32. realdealnats - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    1) Glad to have ALR2) Sad for Morse3) Moore bats well off the bench, no AAA4) Keep Morse until the deal is smoking5) People do get hurt + rotating him means keeping Morse an outside shot if return is too low.6) like McGee, Furbush, not Darren (too old) but would want more than just a loogy for Morse7) Holding on to Espi a must this year!8) Rendon going nowhere tradewise. He's part of the future–at least if he stays healthy this year in AAA.9) In Rizzo We Trust–except in poker

  33. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I also predicted no snow this year.

  34. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    And that I personally would not hit any home runs in a major league park during January.

  35. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Of course there's always still the possibility they could keep Morse and trade ALR. I see nothing in the new contract about a no-trade clause, and he's not a 10 and 5 guy.

  36. Kevin - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    In Rizz We Trust … this is great news.

  37. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    James Wagner‏@JamesWagnerWP Rizzo says they don't have to move Morse: "We’re not going to make a deal just to move the player out of town." Financially not an issue.

  38. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    MichelleS, Of course he says that. It's not prudent to say:'I have no place in the lineup for this guy. I'll take anything I can get for him'.

  39. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    'Rendon going nowhere tradewise. He's part of the future–at least if he stays healthy this year in AAA.' Everyone is part of the future until they are not. AJ Cole was part of the future, Derek Norris was part of the future but now Gio is part of the present.

  40. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    JD.. totally agree. That is Rizzo speak for I can Lannan him if I want to.

  41. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    at 4:20 p.m. peric said… I'm still the one that picked the Nats to win the NL East peric, I don't really want to get in a pi$$ing contest with you, but I think my prediction for the Nats to win the NL East on Nov. !st 2011 was the earliest that I saw on this blog regarding the Nats winning the division. This was my post on Nov.1 on NI"s blog entitled "Expectations Raised" : Joe Seamhead said… I honestly think that the last regular season series against the Phillies next year will be meaningless. The Nats will have the division sewn up and the Phillies will be out of the playoffs. Regardless of what Vegas says, the Phillies are in serious trouble. Starting with Howard, moving on to old age setting in, and with few guys coming up from within. Utley is a shell of his former self, Rollins is insisting on a new five year contract, Polanco and Ibanez are toast, and I don't see the starters carrying this team as they did last year. Those guys threw a lot of innings with a " win now" mentality, and it will show next season. Their bullpen is questionable, at best. The torch gets passed to the Nationals and Braves, starting now, and the Washington club has a better manager and similar talent. GYFNG!!! November 01, 2011 7:38 AM

  42. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    With AL games all through the season, does it make sense to keep a quasi – DH , who can give other guys days off at LF, RF and 1B? Trade TyMo instead and get more back? Just thinking out loud- or typing out loud, or thinking on the keyboard?

  43. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Everyone is part of the future until they are not.Very true JD. But what do the Nats need so badly that they would want to trade their top prospect? He's the likely replacement for Zim at 3B, or Espi at 2B, or even LaRoche at 1B depending on how things play out. I sure don't think we're going to trade him at the deadline for Carlos Beltran, like the Giants did with their top prospect a few seasons back.

  44. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    If Morse must be traded, I understand but I will be morose about it, though I really felt ALR was key if we are to repeat as NL East Champs. Maybe we could package Morse with and one of our surplus minor league catchers and get Alex Meyer back from the Twins.

  45. tayo - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Nats shouldn't be too quick to trade Morse. Wait until the end of Spring Training. It covers us in case of major injury to any of our starting outfielder or Laroche and I don't think we lose much leverage by waiting. I love Tyler More, but do you guys really trust Trust him to be our starting 1b or an outfielder(especially) in case of a major injury? I don't. we are big time now and we don't really have the luxury for young developing players who we are unsure will be able to produce at a high enough level.

  46. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    I predicted that I'd be in the best rooting shape of my life by spring training. So there's that.Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring said… I also predicted no snow this year. January 08, 2013 4:50 PM Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring said… And that I personally would not hit any home runs in a major league park during January. January 08, 2013 4:51 PM

  47. UnkyD - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Wow! 244 comments!!! Haven't read any yet, and I hope the strum und drang is under control…. Dinner now, and I'll check in after reading every comment…which I'm looking forward to… See ya in a couple hours!!!

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    C'mon Joe. Let Rizzo work his magic. And you were the earliest AND only one I saw point blank calling the Nats Division Champs last year.

  49. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Sec 222, The point is we don't know. I think Rendon's value at this point is only high around these parts. He has had serious injuries 3 years in a row and has only played a small part of one season in pro bowl. It may well be that Rendon never gets hurt again, plays for the Nats for 15 years and goes to the hall of fame but he could also be Justin Smoak. At the trade deadline the needs which now look minimal may prove to be less so and maybe someone who is not in the running offers you something which is a perfect fit. Some posters know everything including the future and make sure they tell you about when they were right ad noseum. I am not interested in keeping score; everything here is strictly amateur opinion and anyone thinking otherwise needs a reality check.

  50. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Since peric was posting anonymously here until mid-season (not that we didn't recognize him usually), and also was posting on many other blogs, verifying his claims of prescience would be very difficult, even if one wanted do so, which I don't think anyone does. Why don't we all just concede that he is the smartest, most knowledgeable commenter, and is always right? Ok, fine. That was easy.Just for the record John C., your prediction was amazing and I tip my cap to you (again), but that last series against the Phillies (at least the first game) wasn't exactly meaningless. I think it made Mark's top 5 moments list. See if you can do better this year, ok? :-)

  51. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    sec 222, I think that one was Seamhead.

  52. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    JD, I totally agree we don't know. I expect his value is higher around these parts than anywhere else, but I'll bet Rizzo would get a lot of interest if he shopped him. Luckily, he doesn't need to at this point. I don't keep score either. I'm right sometimes and wrong a lot. But when someone arrogantly insists that he or she is right and I'm an idiot for coming down on the other side, I definitely remember. (Cough, Clippard as closer, cough). I've never known you to express your opinions in that way.

  53. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    1a, you're absolutely right. JoeS, my apologies. A tip of the cap to you, again.

  54. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    JoeS, my apologies. A tip of the cap to you, again.And a beer. Duly recorded. :-)

  55. Joe Seamhead - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    JD at 5:45, I'm reminded that if you give a monkey a typewriter he's bound to spell a word sometime. That was one of the few times that this monkey, [me] spelled a word and I'm claiming it. and 222, yeah, you're right, I kind of blew it by one game!

  56. realdealnats - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. realdealnats - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    JD–I don't think they trade Rendon until they're pretty sure what they have health-wise. If Rendon proves this year he can play w/o injury–a big "if"–I don't believe he is the kind of talent Rizzo trades. While none of us know the future–and to quote Miller's Crossing, "Nobody knows anybody…that well"–we all can generally agree we're not trading Stras, were not trading Harp, JZimm, and I don't think Rendon–if he proves he can stay healthy this year. I believe he will prove to be that kind of talent…if he stays healthy this year. I'm not talking 3 years down the line if he's healthy then hurt then healthy then hurt. I'm saying Rizzo wants to see what he has now and won't trade him until he does. And if he stays healthy he will keep him until he doesn't believe he can stay healthy.

  58. mick - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    as MichelleS would say, WhooHoooooooooooooooooo, something like that

  59. mick - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    as MichelleS would say, WhooHoooooooooooooooooo, something like that

  60. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Good to see Mick is in mid season form!

  61. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Only Mick could misspell Wooo-Hooooooooooooo.

  62. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Section 222 said…I expect his value is higher around these parts than anywhere else, but I'll bet Rizzo would get a lot of interest if he shopped him.Seems to me a guy with 30 HR power shouldn't have any trouble finding suitors.Of course, I said that about LaRoche, too. My guess is MM ends up in the AL.

  63. NatsJim - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Section 222 said… Can we get someone to continue Take on Me (Desmond maybe?). Goosebumps just thinking about it in the playoffs. Maybe the Nats have finally found their Sweet Caroline type song for the 7th inning. January 08, 2013 2:55 PM Love the 7th-inning stretch idea 222! If he's traded I think that would be a great tribute that the fans would embrace.

  64. MicheleS - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Rosenthal has a story about Beast not wanting to DH in the AL. Dude, don't tank your trade value

  65. sjm308 - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Looks like I am getting through tonight with MM still a Washington National!! I am taking this one day at a time.Love to see Mick excited and we will work on that spelling thing.Mick, how are you liking Rizzo now??Go Nationals!! World Series or Bust!!

  66. sjm308 - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    See, rizzo and I are on the same wave lengthMichael Morse is a middle-of-the-lineup, everyday production bat," Rizzo said. "With that said, we are going to be open-minded. Nobody said that we have to trade Michael Morse. There are no financial ramifications that force us to trade Michael Morse. He is a very economical middle-of-the-lineup hitter that can hit .300 and drive in 100 [runs] at a very affordable price. He is very attractive to a lot of teams. I've heard no less than 10 to 12 teams that have interest in Michael Morse."We are going to put the best 25 men on the field for Opening Day. We are going to be patient. If there is a deal out there that makes great sense for us, and makes great sense for Michael Morse, we'll certainly consider it. But there is no gun to our head that we have to trade Michael Morse. We won't trade him just to trade him. It will be a good trade in our favor, or we will just keep him."

  67. MicheleS - Jan 9, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    BEST 25 GO NORTH!!!!Gulp Bang!!!!

  68. UnkyD - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Great thread, everybody!!! Couple of points:I don't think Rendon gets traded, any time soon…and if he's so good that he generates big offers, in a couple of years, I think we'll trade someone else, to make room for him, and extend him. I also don't think Adam gets traded this year, Phil….. But it's more likely than Rendon. There seems to be several possible outcomes re: The GorseMan…. Most of which will leave us smiling…. I Feel Good!!!!GYFNG!!!!!!!

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