Nationals Sign Former Diamondback LaRochePosted by Jeff Summers on Jan 4, 2011 in 2010 Off Season | 0 comments
For the second consecutive day a former Diamondbacks player lands with another club. Yesterday we discussed the signing of Brandon Webb with the Texas Rangers. Today the Washington Nationals continued retooling replacing one former Diamondback with another.
The Nationals announced they had come to an agreement with first baseman Adam LaRoche who led the Diamondbacks last season with 100 RBI. He will play first base, which was vacated by former Diamondback Adam Dunn.
The Nationals upgraded their defense with the addition of LaRoche who is a much better defender than Dunn. From a power perspective they may have given up a few points in on base percentage but overall the two players are quite similar.
One thing they did not do was cut down on strikeouts. Both Dunn and LaRoche have a tendency to put up large strikeout totals which can kill a rally as the Diamondbacks learned during the 2010 season.
Overall LaRoche is a solid player and good clubhouse leader who will help keep the young National players loose and relaxed. General Manager Mike Rizzo has done an excellent job of constructing the roster this season and the Nationals should be taking the next steps to becoming a solid contender in the very near future.
As for the Arizona Diamondbacks they did get some satisfaction in the fact that LaRoche was a Type B Free Agent meaning they will get a compensatory pick between the first and second round as a result of the Nationals signing him.
That may be some consolation but considering Arizona will play Washington in June and August this signing may be more painful as LaRoche has a tendency in his career to get better as the season progresses. Hopefully that draft pick will be an impact player down the road for the Diamondbacks.