The Washington Nationals will probably let first baseman Adam LaRoche into the wild, as his contract has expired after the 2012 season. LaRoche is going to be a hot commodity as a first baseman since he played consistently better in 2012 than he has in recent years. LaRoche could be pursued by the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers.
Both teams are looking for infield depth, all the while being in part of trade talks for top stars like Jacoby Ellsbury and Elvis Andrus. LaRoche is expected to reject the Nationals’ one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer by Friday’s deadline. LaRoche batted .271/.343/.510 in 154 games, the most he has played since 2010. LaRoche hit 33 home runs and drove in 100 RBI in a lineup that had Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman built around him.
The Rangers are looking to move ahead with a future that does not include Josh Hamilton, as Hamilton is expected to be asking for a price that the Rangers cannot offer. The Rangers could sign LaRoche to replace Mitch Moreland at first base and possibly move top prospect Mike Olt to the outfield. The Rangers are going to have some flexibility in the 2013 lineup.
As for the Red Sox, the team is looking for a new first baseman which could give them a better advantage in the running for LaRoche. The Red Sox are not content with Jerry Sands as the team’s starting first baseman and the organization is not that deep in the farm system at that position.
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