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Hot Stove: Red Sox among five teams interested in Adam LaRoche

Free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche [1], 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 [2], told The Washington Post [3] 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 [4] — are holding the line at two years.

‘€œI 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. ‘€œI 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 [5], 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 [6] 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.

‘€œI 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.”