The Washington Nationals were the best team in the National League last year, and many people think that their first baseman Adam LaRoche was the MVP of the team. LaRoche was solid in 2012, seeing as he had 33 home runs and 100 runs batted in, but there was no way he was the team’s MVP last season. This false perception is clouding the judgment of Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo, considering the team will not let LaRoche go.
The Nationals infatuation with LaRoche is similar to a gambler who doesn’t know when to walk away from the table. A lot of gamblers get up huge early, yet they don’t know when to stop with a profit. If the Nationals re-sign LaRoche to a long-term deal, that is exactly what is going to happen to Washington.
LaRoche is not good — sorry, but he’s not. Last season, sure, he was really solid, but he averaged less than a 2.0 fWAR in his previous eight seasons. So basically, Adam LaRoche was a replacement-level first baseman for a majority of his career, and now wants a long-term, multi-million dollar deal? America, people!
The funny thing about the LaRoche stalemate is that the Nationals have a better option at first base already. Michael Morse should be able to match LaRoche’s production, even though he is a defensive liability. Morse, who missed some time due to injury last season, should be able to drive home 100 runs if healthy. However, I guess I am the only one who realizes this, because no one else is saying this anywhere.
In closing, if the Nationals want to make the best financial and baseball decision, they need to look past LaRoche and stick with Morse. There is no doubt in my mind that they will regret a LaRoche deal before 2013 even starts.