Free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche is being pursued by the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers, which may lead to his declining of the Nationals' qualifying offer on Friday to test the open market, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
Free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche is garnering enough interest that he’s expected to reject the Washington Nationals’ $13.3 million qualifying offer by Friday’s deadline.
LaRoche, 33, is being pursued by the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers, in addition to the Nationals, major-league sources said Wednesday.
The veteran LaRoche had a standout season for the Nationals in 2012, hitting .271/.343/.510 with a career-high thirty-three home runs in one hundred fifty-four games. LaRoche's turnaround year led the first baseman to decline his $10 million option for next season and may also lead to his rejection of the one-year qualifying offer put forward by the Nationals. Even if LaRoche declines the qualifying offer, he could return to D.C. on a multi-year deal.
Morosi speculates that the Rangers' interest in LaRoche is further proof that the club is planning to move on from outfielder Josh Hamilton, and the LaRoche could act as a replacement lefty bat in the middle of Texas' lineup. LaRoche was briefly with the Red Sox in 2009 -- for all of six games -- before being traded to the Atlanta Braves for Casey Kotchman.