Reports earlier in the winter had Adam LaRoche seeking a 3 year, $30 million contract. That was laughable, as everyone knew he wasn’t going to get that, not in this market. Last week, a report came out that he had turned down 2 years and $17 million from the San Francisco Giants. Now, LaRoche has apparently accepted reality, as Sports Illustrated reports that he’s signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks for something between $4 and $5 million.
Unfortunately for LaRoche, he had to learn the lesson of this market the hard way. A few teams were willing to shell out real money for a few high-end players, but the bottom has completely fallen out of the low-end market. Average-ish players simply can’t get big money deals right now. And that’s exactly what LaRoche is – an average player headed into his decline phase.
Still, this is a pretty darn good deal for the D’Backs. They get a solid first baseman for 2010 at little cost, allowing them to use Conor Jackson in left field. He adds somewhere between +1 and +2 wins to their team, and, if Arizona is not contending, should be a pretty decent trade chip at the deadline for a team that needs a low cost first baseman.
For LaRcohe, I’m sure this is not the contract he thought he would have to settle for. But it’s the reality of this market. The remaining +2 win-ish players looking for jobs should take note. The jobs are drying up, and you better take a deal when you can, because the offers aren’t going to get any better.