When it came to free agent first baseman, the Orioles had a couple options going into this season; Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee. First, the Washington Nationals locked up Laroche to a two year deal and then the Orioles signed Lee to a one year contract worth $7.25 million.
The Orioles lost Lee for a few weeks with a oblique injury in the middle of May, but compared to the news the Nationals just got about Adam LaRoche, that’s nothing.
LaRoche suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder and is having season ending surgery on Thursday according to multiple sources.
In my opinion, the worst part about the Nationals deal with LaRoche is that it lasts two years. I believe that the Orioles were smart and probably let LaRoche go because they didn’t want to sign a free agent first baseman to a two year deal with so many big free agent first baseman hitting the market after the 2011 season. Lance Berkman, Russell Branyan, Jorge Cantu, Prince Fielder, Xavier Nady and Albert Pujols highlight the list of next year’s class.
It certainly is unfortunate for both the Nationals organization and LaRoche, but it does look as though signing Derrek Lee was the right move for Baltimore this offseason.