Washington GM Mike Rizzo took a patient approach when it came to re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche, and he finally succeeded, as the two sides agreed to a two-year/$24 million contract, including a mutual option for 2015. The nine-year veteran is coming off a career season, in which he won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, while putting together a triple slash of .271/.343/.510 with 33 homers and 100 RBI.
The Mets now have to deal with him for the next two years, but why else is this significant to New York? This signing means the Nationals are putting outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse on the market. Morse is set to make $7 million in 2013 before he hits the free agent market with the Levinsons as his representation, the same agents David Wrighthas. He broke out in LaRoche’s absence during 2011, hitting .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers and 95 RBI. The start of his 2012 season was delayed due to injury, but he still appeared in 102 games and put together a respectable .291/.321/.470 with 18 homers and 62 RBI.
Oct 11, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) at bat during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals of game four of the 2012 NLDS at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
I have no doubt Sandy Alderson has called Washington to check in on what it would take to pry Morse from them, but Ken Rosenthal tweeted at least 5-6 teams have inquired about his services and availability. The Nationals are reportedly looking for some prospects and a left-handed reliever in return for their slugging outfielder, and Sandy could dangle either Josh Edgin or Robert Carson to peak Rizzo’s interest. Working out a deal for Morse would be fantastic, but it’s doubtful Washington would make a trade within the division.
When it comes to other outfield options for the Mets, news surfaced Scott Hairston is no longer talking to the Yankees, with the thought that he’d be able to get more at-bats elsewhere, meaning the Amazins could very well be in the lead to land the free agent. Hairston would prefer a multi-year deal (I mean, who wouldn’t), but is willing to take another one-year contract if the price is right. If you had the pipe dream that the organization would use some of that $160 million the Wilpons just received to sign Michael Bourn, stop dreaming. Since Bourn declined the qualifying offer from the Braves at the start of the off-season, any team that signs him will have to give up their first round pick in next year’s draft, something Alderson is not willing to do. New York has the 11th overall pick in the draft, and I would only be OK with them forfeiting that pick if they signed Bourn for three or four years, but definitely not for one year. Either way, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Do you want to try and head to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field this July? Well, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports, it won’t come at a discount, as a season ticket holder told the website he’d have to pay $799 for to get his seats in the Promenade during All-Star week. All this money being spent, you’d think it’d go right back into the team, right? Also, Terry Collins won’t be getting an extension going into this season to prevent the “lame duck” status in 2013; Sandy Alderson doesn’t think it’s a problem, and neither do I. Terry is a good manager and I like what he’s done for the ball club since he came on in 2011, but the second half tail spin of 2012 doesn’t exactly warrant a reward. Be it as it may, he was given some inferior pieces to a puzzle that is his roster.
While Alderson has said on multiple occasions they might be done adding to the outfield, he’s also added that the combination of Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck, and Anthony Recker will be all they need behind the plate for the Big League squad. The GM did say they will be signing catchers to fill out the rosters in Double- and Triple-A to give the organization more depth at the position. However, New York is looking to add one or two more relievers on Major League deals before the season starts. After a season in which the bullpen was one of the worst in baseball, the Mets have let Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch walk via free agency, non-tendered Manny Acosta, and signed Greg Burke and Aaron Laffey to minor league deals with invites to Big League camp.