Just after they announced the 13-year, $325-million contract to which they signed slugging right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins broke out the checkbook one more time. The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reports that the Marlins have offered a two-year, $20-million contract to costless agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. The check is not quite as large as Stanton's but it does show that the Marlins mean business in their pursuit of a winning team.
LaRoche is CBS Sports.com's 14th best costless agent position player and top-ranked first baseman. Although he it only .259 for the Washington Nationals in 2014, he earned that ranking by slugging 26 home runs (fourth among N.L. first basemen) and driving in 92 runs (tied for third). With four of the higher-ranked costless agents already signed, LaRoche now moves to the #10 spot for available costless agents.
LaRoche has had a very solid career. He has amassed totals of .264/.340/.472, 243 HR, and 838 RBI in 11 years with the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Nationals. He has had a little trouble in the postseason (12 for 60), but he has hit four postseason home runs. He also won both the 2011 National League Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards at first base. Totals like these make it difficult to understand how he has yet to make an All-Star team. At age 35, he still has plenty of time to make one if he keeps up this level of performance.
The $10-million average annual value of this offer is less than LaRoche made in Washington, but when combining it with the $2-million the Nationals paid him to buy out his 2015 option, he will make the same $12 million next year should he accept this offer.
Jackson notes that the Marlins have also expressed interest in costless agent pitchers Jason Hamel (11th-ranked pitcher) and Justin Masterson (#12) in addition to lefty Wade Miley via trade from the Diamondbacks. Expect the Marlins to remain very busy this offseason as they attempt to bring a winner to Miami.