The Washington Nationals are in the playoffs, and they want to win it all now. They have the all the pieces coming together.
Ryan Zimmerman is now healthy, Anthony Rendon has been coming into his own and taking over the third base spot. Zimmerman is owed $76 million over the next five seasons. They will need to find a spot for Zimmerman. The outfield is not an option because Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth are both under contract. Werth is aging, but is still a valuable player. Denard Span has been a solid player though this season. The Nationals will obviously pick up on his $9 million option on his contract which is a steal judging by the way he has been playing.
This all means that Zimmerman will move to first base and someone will need to go, that someone is Adam LaRoche.
LaRoche was easily one of the best hitters in all of baseball during the 2012 season, he then slumped in 2013 and heated back up in 2014. Many Nationals fans like this guy. However, with his up-and-down career, it may be a good idea for him to hit costless agency. He would be set to make a lot more money than the Nationals would pay him. If the Nationals did not keep him, they would pay him $2 million for not picking up his 2015 option. If they kept him, it would cost $15 million for 2015. That is a lot of money which the Nationals do not need to spend.
LaRoche told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington, “If you had to ask me now, I would assume that I would have to move on, unfortunately.”
With the money they would save, the Nationals could possibly pick up a relief pitcher. Joaquin Benoit, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Fernando Rodney, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Qualls, Antonio Bastardo, Ross Dewiler, J.P. Howell and Neftali Feliz are a few big names that will possibly be on the market for Washington to pick up. It would help solidify their bullpen. Ross Detwiler and Rafael Soriano have been the two main relievers this season, but it never hurts to have more studs in the back end.
LaRoche has hit .255/.359/.452 with 25 long balls and 80 walks along with an .811 OPS. He should not have to worry, with these numbers there will be plenty of interest even at age 35. In 1473 career games, LaRoche has slashed .264/.339/.472 with 242 home runs, 709 runs scored, 834 runs batted in and 319 doubles in 5148 career at-bats. Hopefully, LaRoche can exit Washington with a World Series championship.