One first baseman down, one to go
I'm almost scared to report this information because you just never know who is going to disagree with the move(s) and of course blame me if something goes wrong. But MASN's two teams, the Orioles and the Nationals, have been busy looking for first basemen to replace Ty Wigginton and Adam Dunn, respectively, and as of New Years Eve, it appears as if one team has finally ended their search.
According to multiple sources, the Orioles have come to a verbal agreement with free-agent first baseman Derrek Lee on a one-year deal in the reported $7-8 million range according to SI.com's Jon Heyman. Meanwhile, a source tells me the Nationals are currently in strong financial negotiations with Adam LaRoche on a multi-year (believed to be two) deal in the $8-9 million per year range. If LaRoche and the Nats reach an agreement in that dollar range, the deal would be worth more per year than what I reported the Orioles offered him at three-years, $21 million.
As one MLB GM explained, it makes sense that LaRoche would be more interested in a short-term deal for more money per year in a league he is already familiar with rather than be tied up for three years in the American League East where he's never played - well, minus 19 at-bats in 2009 with the Red Sox, which in terms of "experience" basically means nothing.
It was believed, however, LaRoche was seeking a three-year deal and wanted long-term stability with his next team. So as LaRoche's camp negotiates a reported two-year deal with the Nats, I end you with this quote from Orioles Manager Buck Showalter: "When a player tells you it's not about the money... Trust me, it's about the money."
... Except in Cliff Lee's case.
Happy New Year!