Adam LaRoche’s list of suitors got one team shorter on Monday, the first day of baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville.
The Boston Red Sox — a team that reached out to free agent LaRoche, was in desperate need of a first baseman and seemed like a potential lure — agreed to terms with free agent catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli to a three-year deal, according to multiple reports. And though the Red Sox have a wealth of catchers, the expectation is that Napoli will also likely play first base, ruling out LaRoche as an option there.
LaRoche is among the biggest priorities for the Nationals, as his future with the team will help shape the rest of their offseason. Whether he signs will help determine who will play first base, whether Michael Morse is traded and other moves. General Manager Mike Rizzo is keen on signing LaRoche, but the Nationals are insistent on offering a two-year deal, while the 33-year-old first baseman is searching for the security of three years.
This weekend, LaRoche said that the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays were among a list of other teams interested in him, but none of those talks had advanced past an early stage.The Rays, however, could also likely be out of a need for LaRoche, having reportedly agreed to a deal with free agent first baseman James Loney.
The rest of this week, LaRoche’s future will come into clearer views.