Less than a year after they tried to replace him, the Nationals are working to keep first baseman Adam LaRoche in Washington.
LaRoche still seems like an ideal fit for the Nationals. His left-handed power gives the middle of their lineup a balance that would be difficult to find elsewhere. His glove gives the rest of the Nationals’ confidence. His demeanor provides an example in a young clubhouse. At the moment, the sides are still working to make sure the fit becomes a reality.
LaRoche was a key part of the Nats' division title team, slugging a career-high 33 homers while driving in 100 runs. He wasn't always viewed as a desirable commodity, however, as Washington did everything it could to replace the 32-year-old this offeseason.
At one point last winter, the Nationals were considered to be the favorites to sign Prince Fielder. Instead, they stuck with LaRoche and made their first postseason appearance since 1981.
Washington was searching for a replacement for good reason, as LaRoche had a disastrous 2011 season, hitting .172/.288/.546 over 177 plate appearances. The previous four seasons, LaRoche hit .276 and averaged 25 home runs and 86 RBI.