Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Adam LaRoche

A few years ago at Turner Field, Our Washington Nationals were playing The Atlanta Braves when Nick Johnson hit a little dribbler down the 1st base line toward Atlanta 1st Baseman Adam LaRoche. Now as everyone recalls, Nicky wasn't the fleetest of foot even then. But somehow Johnson beat LaRoche to the bag and was called safe when Adam appeared lost for a split second.

Immediately, most every single story about that incident mentioned that Adam LaRoche has ADD--Attention Deficit Disorder. I've never forgotten that moment and that was, of course, the first thought that came to mind when Washington reportedly signed Adam LaRoche this evening to a two-year contract with a mutual option for a third.

LaRoche is a league average player with some pop in his bat. And despite ADD, LaRoche is going to catch more errant throws around the bag defensively than Adam Dunn was capable. That's all fine.

But we are not exactly sure why if LaRoche was, indeed, the last 1st Baseman standing available (which no other team was willing to sign)--why was he then able to get such a rich contract of $7 million & $8 million per year (with a $10 million mutual option for 2013 or a $1 million buyout) from Washington?

Even though Washington was clearly in the hole at 1st Base after letting Adam Dunn walk with no one else on the horizon, do you really have to put that much money on the table for a league average player?

Signing Adam LaRoche is fine, especially since it's not for long term. We just need to understand the contract.


Tom said...

Tom Boswell had it right. A team pays an extra penalty fee for being a looser to get players even average players to come to your team until you are a winner. Just be happy Zimm signed before Werth.
By the way I agree with Riz the improved defense will translate to a better brand of baseball for the Nats.
You going to be in Viera when pitchers and catchers report or wait until the games begin?

Unknown said...

I have to agree with our blogmeister.
I don't have a huge problem with LaRoche, but I would not have paid him so much. I certainly would rather have Nick Johnson back (if he is healthy) or the much underrated Jorge Cantu. I'm hoping for the best with LaRoche, but he was not the only option...