The Nationals will have their starting infield from last year back intact going into 2013.
LaRoche, a free agent for the third time in his career, had wanted a three-year deal, but the Nats wouldn’t budge on their offer of two years. If he had signed with another team, the Nats would have received a compensation pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
LaRoche was a key contributor to the Nationals winning the National League East title in 2012, batting .271 with 33 homers and 100 RBIs in 154 games. He was awarded his first career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
The LaRoche signing means the Nationals most likely will trade Mike Morse, who was the everyday left fielder last season. The outfield is already all set with Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth which leaves Morse as the odd man out.
The Nats are also interested in pitcher Javier Vazquez if the right-hander decides to make a return to MLB. Vazquez retired after going 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA in 32 starts for the Marlins in 2011.