Morosi: Rangers pursuing LaRoche

Mike Zarrilli

Jon Paul Morosi writes that the Rangers are pursuing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche

Jon Paul Morosi writes that the Rangers and the Red Sox are among the teams reportedly pursuing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche.

LaRoche just turned 33 two days ago, and has had a better career than you probably think he has:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ IBB
2004 24 ATL NL 110 356 324 45 90 27 1 13 45 0 0 27 78 .278 .333 .488 .821 108 1
2005 25 ATL NL 141 502 451 53 117 28 0 20 78 0 2 39 87 .259 .320 .455 .775 100 7
2006 26 ATL NL 149 557 492 89 140 38 1 32 90 0 2 55 128 .285 .354 .561 .915 130 5
2007 27 PIT NL 152 632 563 71 153 42 0 21 88 1 1 62 131 .272 .345 .458 .803 109 5
2008 28 PIT NL 136 554 492 66 133 32 3 25 85 1 1 54 122 .270 .341 .500 .841 122 7
2009 29 TOT MLB 150 629 555 78 154 38 2 25 83 2 2 69 142 .277 .355 .488 .843 122 12
2009 29 TOT NL 144 610 536 76 149 36 2 24 80 2 2 69 140 .278 .357 .487 .844 122 12
2009 29 PIT NL 87 368 324 46 80 25 1 12 40 2 2 41 81 .247 .329 .441 .770 103 6
2009 29 BOS AL 6 19 19 2 5 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 .263 .263 .526 .789 97 0
2009 29 ATL NL 57 242 212 30 69 11 1 12 40 0 0 28 59 .325 .401 .557 .957 151 6
2010 30 ARI NL 151 615 560 75 146 37 2 25 100 0 1 48 172 .261 .320 .468 .788 106 4
2011 31 WSN NL 43 177 151 15 26 4 0 3 15 1 0 25 37 .172 .288 .258 .546 52 0
2012 32 WSN NL 154 647 571 76 155 35 1 33 100 1 1 67 138 .271 .343 .510 .853 128 7
9 Yrs 1186 4669 4159 568 1114 281 10 197 684 6 10 446 1035 .268 .338 .482 .820 114 48
162 Game Avg. 162 638 568 78 152 38 1 27 93 1 1 61 141 .268 .338 .482 .820 114 7
ATL (4 yrs) 457 1657 1479 217 416 104 3 77 253 0 4 149 352 .281 .346 .512 .858 119 19
PIT (3 yrs) 375 1554 1379 183 366 99 4 58 213 4 4 157 334 .265 .340 .469 .809 112 18
WSN (2 yrs) 197 824 722 91 181 39 1 36 115 2 1 92 175 .251 .331 .457 .788 113 7
ARI (1 yr) 151 615 560 75 146 37 2 25 100 0 1 48 172 .261 .320 .468 .788 106 4
BOS (1 yr) 6 19 19 2 5 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 .263 .263 .526 .789 97 0
NL (9 yrs) 1180 4650 4140 566 1109 279 10 196 681 6 10 446 1033 .268 .338 .482 .820 114 48
AL (1 yr) 6 19 19 2 5 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 .263 .263 .526 .789 97 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/8/2012.

LaRoche is expected to reject the one year, $13.3 million qualifying offer that the Nationals have tendered, which means that signing him will likely require a multi-year deal at eight figures per season, and will also cost the Rangers their first round draft pick, if they were to sign LaRoche.

While Morosi speculates that this is a sign the Rangers are prepared to move on from Josh Hamilton, I don't think that's what this is about. Hamilton is an outfielder, LaRoche is a first baseman. Pursuing LaRoche suggests that the Rangers are preparing to move on from either Mitch Moreland or Michael Young.

Signing LaRoche could mean that Moreland could take over David Murphy's role as a left-handed hitting guy off the bench, playing some RF, 1B and DH against righthanders, with Murphy either becoming a starter or being traded, depending on how things play out.

Or it could mean that the front office has decided that Michael Young isn't going to have a full-time role in Texas next season, and is getting someone in place who would replace Young.

I've got mixed feelings about all of this. I don't think the Rangers can afford to go into next season with Mitch Moreland and Michael Young as their primary 1B and DH -- at least, not if they are planning on competing -- but at the same time, I have a hard time getting too enthused about upgrading to Adam LaRoche, particularly on what would likely be a three year deal.

Also, this is a good time to remind you that there's a "hub" for Rangers offseason news and stories, which you can get to here. Stuff that has to do with personnel moves, trade rumors, arbitration cases, etc. is all grouped together there.

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