Red Sox wouldn’t go to three years on Adam LaRoche
|01.08.13 at 2:55 pm ET|
With Adam LaRoche returning to the Nationals on a two-year, $24 million deal, the most obvious free-agent fallback plan for the Red Sox should talks with Mike Napoli unravel is no longer available. The development does not come as a surprise to the Sox, however.
All winter, LaRoche seemed determined to get a three-year deal if he was to leave the Nats, the team with whom he enjoyed a tremendous year in 2012, hitting .271/.343/.510/.853 with 33 homers and 100 RBI. That appeared to remain the case all winter, even into January. And, according to multiple major league sources, the Sox simply had no intention of committing three years to the 33-year-old LaRoche, particularly given that he would cost the team not just money but also a second-round draft pick. (LaRoche, as a free agent who received a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the team with whom he spent all of 2012, would have required a draft pick as compensation for the Nationals if he signed with a team other than Washington.)
Early in the offseason, the Sox prioritized Napoli over LaRoche. Napoli wouldn’t cost the Sox a draft pick; at 31, he seemed a slightly safer risk for three years (a notion, however, that may be in some jeopardy given that his agreement remains unresolved due to concerns that emerged when he underwent his physical). And while LaRoche clearly had the stronger 2012 season (Napoli hit .227/.343/.469/.812 with 24 homers in 108 games in 2012), Napoli enjoyed the stronger career marks, with a .259/.356/.507/.863 line, compared to LaRoche’s totals of .268/.338/.482/.820.
And while Napoli and the Sox continue to try to find common ground in the aftermath of the physical, likely altering the original terms of the deal, it would appear that he remained the Sox’ clear priority even with the health concerns that he now presents. In other words, trepidation about the status of talks with Napoli wasn’t going to compel the Sox to reach an agreement with LaRoche on terms that the club deemed undesirable.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Unexpected Trades Red Sox Could Pull Off This Offseason
- Dream Free-Agent Pickups for Red Sox
- Red Sox Free Agency News and Trade Rumors
- Should Red Sox Trade Cespedes This Offseason?
- Red Sox's Most Tradeable Assets for Offseason
- Uehara Inks 2-Year Extension with Sox
- Possible Trade Partners, Packages for Cespedes
- Drake Britton designated for assignment as Red Sox sign Ogando
- Trade Analysis: Scouting Anthony Ranaudo
- Red Sox deal Anthony Ranaudo to Rangers for Robbie Ross Jr.
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Perth heads to the playoffs
- Rookie Dev Program notes: Ramos healthy, Swihart looks back
- Mookie Betts is prepared for whatever 2015 may bring
- Brian Johnson prepared to follow up stellar 2014 campaign
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Weeks helps Mayaguez advance to finals
- Rookie Development Program easing transition for young players
- Offseason Notes: Veterans Bianchi, Boggs highlight minor league signings