|Hot Stove: Red Sox among five teams interested in Adam LaRoche||12.01.12 at 6:38 pm ET|
Free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, who hit a career-high 33 homers in 2012 with a strong line of .271/.343/.510/.853 while winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award as both the top offensive and defensive first baseman in the National League, told The Washington Post that he remains extremely interested in returning to the Nationals, but that he and the team have yet to find middle ground on the term of a contract.
LaRoche, 33, wants a three-year commitment from Washington, while the Nationals — most recently through a face-to-face meeting on Friday between the first baseman and GM Mike Rizzo — are holding the line at two years.
“I think they’re really wanting to stick to two years. I’m trying to talk them into lengthening that. To be honest, probably just one year. I’m not looking for four or five. I understand I’m 33 years old,” LaRoche told the Post. “I can’t say it moved forward. We understand each other a lot more now. I think he understands where I’m coming from. He understands I want to be there, kind of my argument for three years not being unreasonable. So, I don’t know.”
According to the story, LaRoche has also received interest from the Red Sox, Rangers, Mariners and Rays, while noting that “none of those talks [has] advanced past an early stage.”
LaRoche — who spent nine days with the Sox in 2009, getting picked up in a trade with the Pirates for minor leaguers Hunter Strickland and Argenis Diaz and then getting flipped for Casey Kotchman little more than a week later, also said that even a three-year offer might not be enough to sway him from returning to Washington. He’s keenly concerned with a team’s competitive outlook.
“I spent some years in Pittsburgh where they were really struggling, and that was not a fun summer. I don’t want to get into a situation where we’ve got no chance,” LaRoche said. “I don’t want three years where it’s rebuilding, and all of a sudden I’m out of the game and finished on three rough years.”
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