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Nationals' Adam LaRoche becomes free agent, wins 2012 Gold Glove

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 2, 2012 in Sports
Washington - First baseman Adam LaRoche, who recently won a Gold Glove award, is now a free agent. Yesterday he declined his half of mutual options for next season with the Washington Nationals.
According to the Washington Post, LaRoche did not opt to accept his half of a $10 million one-year option with the Nats, as he believes he can receive a multi-year deal on the open market.
In recent weeks, LaRoche has voiced his preference to remain with the Nationals and the management sees him as a good fit for the team. However, with his newly acquired free agent status, the Nationals will now have to compete with other teams come midnight Saturday when other teams will be permitted to contact him to negotiate a deal.
LaRoche had contributed much to the Nationals this year, who in 2012 won their first-ever National League Division championship. It was just announced earlier this week the first baseman won the 2012 Gold Glove award for his position.
The Washington Times notes that LaRoche could "likely be courted" by several teams. This year he hit 33 homeruns, beating his own personal record of 32 homeruns which he'd set in 2006. He also reached 100 RBIs and finished the season with a .271 hitting average.
Many analysts suggest if the first base position opens up, left fielder Michael Morse would likely shift to the infield position, if he isn't traded. While LaRoche had been out on the Disabled List (DL) in 2011, Morse had played that position for several months. Another consideration to play the infield position would probably be Tyler Moore.
In addition to possibly losing LaRoche, the Nationals also may lose Sean Burnett. The left-handed relief pitcher also declined his half of a $3.5 million one-year mutual option, so he too has just become a free agent. Burnett also had expressed a desire to stay in Washington, however he also was seeking a multi-year deal.
More about Nationals, Nats, adam laroche, 2012 gold glove, MLB
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