5 Reasons the Washington Nationals Should Re-Sign Adam LaRoche
The Washington Nationals are in a tough spot when it comes to Adam LaRoche. LaRoche is coming off a career year in which he helped propel the Nats to the best record in baseball. The question now becomes whether or not the Nats should fork up the cash to pay LaRoche in 2013 and beyond.
LaRoche certainly showed that he is worthy of consideration on a championship-caliber team, and the Nationals are in the position to sign him and virtually assure themselves of depth and consistency up and down their lineup.
Here are five reasons why the Nats need to re-sign him.
2012 was a season that LaRoche will not soon forget, nor will his bank account as he earned himself a couple more million dollars this season.
LaRoche blasted a career-high 33 home runs and 100 RBI in 154 games in 2012. The Nationals are faced with quite the dilemma going forward, but it will certainly be hard to sacrifice that kind of production.
Solidfy Lineup as Best in NL
If LaRoche signs, it could very well mean that Michael Morse might be used as trade bait. If the Nats decide to keep LaRoche and Morse, the Nationals would all but assure themselves that they will have the most potent lineup in the NL.
They would have to find places to play some guys, but a lineup that can have Morse and LaRoche sandwiched between Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and the rest of the hard-hitting Nats will give them a lineup capable of beating any pitcher.
LaRoche has been in the league for nine years and has spent time in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston, Arizona and now D.C. He has proven that he can handle playing anywhere and can be a leader for younger players in the clubhouse.
With a wealth of young talent in the Nationals clubhouse with Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore to name a few, it is imperative that the Nats have someone lead them who has been around the league.
Becoming More Comfortable
LaRoche was hitting .255 in the first half of the season before hitting .287 in the second half of 2012. LaRoche was starting to become more comfortable in the Nationals lineup and Nats fans were finally starting to see his full potential with a healthy lineup around him.
D.C. would benefit from watching LaRoche approach and potentially eclipse these numbers if they attempt to re-sign LaRoche.
LaRoche was second to only Harper on the Nats in WAR (wins above replacement). In the world of sabermetrics, statistics like this will begin to earn players more money and will cost others in years to come.
LaRoche's 4.0 WAR is remarkable, considering that the Nationals would have no longer finished with the NL's best record if not for the assumed four wins that LaRoche led the Nats to over a potential replacement player.