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Adam LaRoche is seeking a third-year in any new contract he signs
Adam LaRoche wants to re-sign with the Washington Nationals. But he also wants a three-year contract. The Washington Nationals have offered LaRoche a two-year contract, worth $25 million, and they won't budge on their offer.
But as James Wagner of The Washington Post reports, Adam LaRoche may have at least one suitor that is willing to offer him a three-year deal:
The Rangers were one of the handful of teams interested in LaRoche, who hit 33 home runs, drove in 100 runs and earned a Gold Glove last season. But they were reportedly heavily courting Hamilton, wanting to keep his power bat in the lineup. But now that they have lost out on Greinke (to the Dodgers) and Hamilton (to the Angels), it makes sense that they could extend a three-year deal to LaRoche, a potentially luring offer from a contending team. And the Rangers, who have shown a willingness to spend money, could also be motivated to pursue LaRoche harder, given their lack of success in the free agent market so far.
The Nationals can actually afford to let LaRochee walk. James Wagner states that the "Nats will have a logjam of infielders in a few years with the rise of developing prospects and will have substantial financial commitments in the future to homegrown players such as Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond."
And the Nationals have options at first base for 2013, further allowing the team to let LaRoche sign elsewhere. The team's best option is Michael Morse. Despite playing left field in 67 of his 93 total games last season, Morse does have extensive experience at first base.
Morse has played 123 games at first base in his career, enough to be his third-most frequent defensive position. In those 123 games at first base, Morse has 964 total chances with only six errors, for a fielding percentage of .994. Morse has a career range factor of 7.79 as a first baseman.
During the 2011 season, Morse payed 85 games at first base while LaRoche was injured. In 793 total chances that season, Morse logged a .992 fielding percentage with a respectable range factor of 9.26.
While it will be difficult to replace the defensive prowess of LaRoche, who has a 8.98 range factor in 10247 total chances at first base, Morse 's experience will make the transition a smoother one. This transition will eliminate the possible distraction of a positional controversy between Morse and LaRoche, allowing the Nats to set their lineup to guarantee the presence of Morse, along with the presence of other players whose playing time would be positively affected by LaRcohe's departure.
With this newly stable and still formidable lineup, the Nationals can become true favorites to win the 2013 World Series.