The Washington Nationals and their fans may receive a nice Christmas present if manager Davey Johnson is to be believed. The Nats’ skipper says he has received "positive signs" from GM Mike Rizzo that free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche will re-sign with the club before the holiday, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
The 33-year-old LaRoche has been in discussions with Rizzo and the Nats for most of the offseason, but things seemed to hit a wall when it became clear that Washington would not budge from their standing two-year offer for the lefty slugger, who is believed to be seeking a three-year deal.
The only contract over two years the Nats have given out to a free agent since Rizzo took over as GM in 2009 is Jayson Werth’s monster seven-year contract, so the likelihood of the club giving LaRoche three years is slim to none.
The Nationals have plenty of options at first base if LaRoche does not return to the capital next season, as either Mike Morse or Tyler Moore could step right in to the role. If the club does re-sign LaRoche, however, that could make Morse available on the trade market.
The Red Sox and Rangers have also shown interest in signing LaRoche, who is coming off a career year in which he tallied career-highs in hits (155), home runs (33), and RBI (100).