The Washington Nationals had a decision to make during the off-season in whether to keep Michael Morse around or to re-sign Adam LaRoche to play first base. Washington decided to trade Morse away and went ahead with getting LaRoche under contract for another two years. It is now going to be up to him to prove that the team made the right decision.
The lack of open positions on the field came after the Nationals traded for Denard Span to play center field, and that meant moving Bryce Harper to left field. That is where Morse was playing most of his games, and Washington wanted to keep the left-handed bat of LaRoche as opposed to Morse.
To help his case, LaRoche hit a career-high 33 home runs last season and knocked in 100 runs. Those are great numbers, but you have to wonder if that’s the best season LaRoche is ever going to have.
I liked what Morse brought to the table in Washington, and moving him to the Seattle Mariners may turn into a bad move for the Nationals unless LaRoche can match his 2012 numbers.
That will obviously be easier said than done though. LaRoche is a slow starter and always has been during his career, so he needs to be playing with a purpose from day one this season. He has a job to do and a fan base that wants to see him match the numbers that Morse could put up.
2013 has become an important season for LaRoche along with the Nationals if the team wants to win a World Series in 2013.