Friday, January 15, 2010

LaRoche Isn't Coming to Baltimore, After All..

I was really intrigued by the prospect of seeing Adam LaRoche sign in Baltimore; however, that does not seem to be happening now. It looks like LaRoche is heading out west and will be a member of the Diamondbacks.

Sadly, the remaining first baseman left on the market really doesn't impress me much at all. I'm thinking LaRoche is taking the deal from Arizona to see if the market will pick up and see if there's yet another big pay day coming for him. As much as he would have fit in Baltimore with his power, he does strike out quite a bit and is a notoriously slow starter.

From MLB Trade Rumors: The Diamondbacks signed first baseman Adam LaRoche to a one-year deal, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The D'Backs were not known to be interested or able to afford LaRoche, but the move makes sense as it allows them to use Conor Jackson in left field and give Brandon Allen more minor league seasoning.

LaRoche reportedly turned down a two-year, $17.5MM deal from the Giants earlier this offseason, as he was aiming for three years. The 30-year-old hit .278/.357/.487 with 24 home runs in 610 plate appearances for the Pirates, Braves, and Red Sox. He earned $7.05MM in '09. He was a Type B free agent, but the Braves chose not to offer arbitration.

I guess another name on the board the Orioles might consider is Russell Branyan. Yes, the first baseman did have a huge season in 2009 with the Mariners, however, he's in his mid-30's. Furthermore, there's not much in his past that would indicate that he's a good candidate to repeat what did for Seattle.

If MacPhail does take a chance on Branayan, it should only be for one-year deal -- no more.

Finally, it looks like lefty hurler Rich Hill is moving on from the Baltimore organization. He looked like he had some promise on the mound, but Hill was so inconsistent, and didn't seem have the ability to go more than five innings from start to start. Hill seemed to be a nice enough guy, but assuming he's healthy and doesn't have issues with his shoulder, the lefty should help someone.

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