Free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche has been trying to work out an agreement with the Washington Nationals all off-season but with things staling out there he is keeping his options opens, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
LaRoche hit .271/.343/.510 with Washington last season and the Nationals have been clear about wanting him back, but the two sides have yet to find common ground after LaRoche rejected their $13M qualifying offer this off-season. With Michael Morse around, the Nationals have a strong fallback option should LaRoche decide to move on.
With Washington dragging their heels, LaRoche has gotten looks from the Orioles and Rangers, but the Boston Red Sox could be the best fit for him now that their three year/$39M deal with Mike Napoli appears to be falling apart because of medical concerns. As Kilgore notes, the Red Sox have been in contact with LaRoche and because they own a protected first round pick, he would only cost the Red Sox their second round pick.
The Nationals still prefer LaRoche to shifting Michael Morse from left to first, but with many of the other first base options off the table, his price could be on the rise. Washington has balked at giving him the three year deal he is looking for, but interest from the Red Sox could force their hand. If they do re-sign LaRoche is appears that they would then seek to trade Morse and his $6.75M salary.