With Carlos Pena off the market, after signing a one-year deal with the Cubs, it's easy to surmise that the Nationals focus will now be on Adam LaRoche.
LaRoche, 31 last month, has been a steady performer for seven seasons in the big leagues. He's averaged 26 homers and 93 RBI every 162 games, which begs the question, why has this guy bounced around so much? The D-Backs were his fourth team, fifth of you count both times with Atlanta. There's never been a hint that he's a bad guy in the clubhouse, or gives anything less than 100 percent on the field. On age alone, he seems to be a better investment than Derrek Lee.
LaRoche has been very complimentary of the Nationals this offseason, and with first base open, there's a logical fit in Washington. His brother, Andy, is also a free agent, though as a third baseman coming off a down year offensively in Pittsburgh, may have to settle for a minor league deal with someone. Andy has played a handful of games at first and second, and may be looking at a utility role on the big league level. Their father, Dave LaRoche, had a 14-year big league as a lefty reliever, and pitched on the mound at RFK for the Angels against the Senators 1970-71.