If the Rangers were considered a possible landing spot for Adam LaRoche a couple days ago, it’s hard to believe they still are today.
Texas reportedly has agreed to terms with first baseman/outfielder Lance Berkman on a one-year, $11 million contract, a deal which includes a vesting option for 2014.
Berkman, a switch-hitter, gives the Rangers more pop from the left side of the plate and a guy that they can rotate in at a few positions.
This deal comes after the Rangers signed left-handed hitting catcher A.J. Pierzynski earlier this offseason.
The Rangers had reportedly been hesitant to really get into serious negotiations with LaRoche because they were scared off by the draft pick compensation attached to the free agent first baseman. Still, the additions of Pierzynski and Berkman seem to signal that they’re now truly out of the LaRoche sweepstakes.
What other teams are still interested in LaRoche? Well, that list seemingly continues to shrink as the offseason progresses.
The Red Sox are essentially making LaRoche their backup option if a deal with Mike Napoli doesn’t go through because of medical reasons, but Napoli is still considered their top choice.
The Orioles have a need for a first baseman and another power hitter, but there are reports that they also are unwilling to give up a draft pick and the attached bonus pool money that comes with it in order to sign LaRoche.
The Mariners have expressed interest in LaRoche, but at this point in his career, winning is high on LaRoche’s list of priorities, and Seattle hasn’t posted an above-.500 season since 2009.
Find a team that could be a fit, you’ll find a reason why LaRoche might not be the right fit.
Meanwhile, the Nationals are sitting back, waiting patiently as other teams look for alternatives when it comes to adding a first baseman. General manager Mike Rizzo has a two-year offer to LaRoche on the table, and while LaRoche is seeking three years, he might not end up finding it.
So while they’d prefer this whole situation had been finalized one way or another a few weeks ago (I’m sure we all do, actually) the Nats are looking more and more like the favorite to land LaRoche as the days go by.