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Nationals rumors: Washington, Adam LaRoche not close to deal

The Nationals are “not close to a deal” with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche.

Mike Zarrilli

The Washington Nationals are "not close to a deal" with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

As of Monday, according to person familiar with free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, the two parties are not close to a deal.

The Nationals and LaRoche have expressed mutual interest in each other entering the offseason, though the first baseman won’t come cheap following his impressive 2012 campaign. Washington made LaRoche a qualifying offer of $13.3 million last Friday, and he has until 5 p.m. ET Friday night to decide whether or not to accept it.

LaRoche isn’t expected to accept the offer, as he’s seeking a multi-year deal this winter. If he does decline the qualifying offer the Nationals will receive a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Ladson notes that if LaRoche and Washington are unable to reach an agreement they will likely move Michael Morse back to first base for the 2013 season.

Over 571 at-bats for the Nationals this season the 33-year-old hit .271/.343/.510 with 35 doubles and 33 home runs. He owns a career line of .268/.338/.482.