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Adam LaRoche “has interest in playing for the Nationals”

Adam LaRoche, A.J. Ellis

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Adam LaRoche hits a home run to score Stephen Drew as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis looks on during the fifth inning of their baseball game, Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)


Washington is committed to overpaying veteran free agents this offseason and not surprisingly Adam LaRoche wants in on the action.

Bill Ladson of reports that LaRoche “has interest in playing for the Nationals and his representative is expected to meet with the club in the next couple of days.”

Ladson adds that the Nationals “have had their eyes on” LaRoche “for several months.”

Based on various reports and speculation, it sounds like the Nationals will look to trade Josh Willingham and then sign a veteran first baseman like LaRoche or perhaps Carlos Pena, to whom they’ve also been linked “for several months.”

Ladson writes that LaRoche “is coming off the best season of his career,” but in reality that’s far from the case. It’s true that he drove in a career-high 100 runs, but LaRoche had his lowest batting average (.261), on-base percentage (.320), and OPS (.788) since 2005 and the Diamondbacks declined his $7.5 million option for 2011.