The Washington Nationals have reached an agreement with free agent Adam LaRoche on a two-year deal.
LaRoche declined a qualifying offer from Washington earlier this off-season, which made the Nationals eligible for draft pick compensation.
The effect was significant and LaRoche’s signability was limited.
LaRoche batted .271/.343/.510 in 2012 for Washington, and hit 33 home runs with 100 RBI
Teams have been reluctant to sign some players to new deals that were linked to draft pick compensation.
LaRoche had been courted primarily by the Boston Red Sox and the Nationals, but the Red Sox were hesitant because of the compensation issues.
The signing of LaRoche may free up an opportunity for Washington to trade outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse.
Morse has drawn interest from several teams this off-season, but Washington needed to resolve the LaRoche issue before moving forward.
The Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and perhaps the Philadelphia Phillies would be interested in a trade for Morse who can play first base as well as a corner outfield position.
The signing of LaRoche leaves Kyle Lohse, Rafael Soriano and Michael Bourn as the remaining free agents on the market linked to draft pick compensation