Adam LaRoche batted .325/.401/.557 with 12 home runs, 40 RBI and a .957 OPS in 212 at-bats after being scooped up from the Red Sox on July 31, playing a huge part in the Braves’ late playoff run. Sure, we’re all accustomed to LaRoche’s second-half surges -- .909 OPS lifetime, as opposed to .773 before the All-Star break -- but his strong performance down the stretch hasn’t given general manager Frank Wrenmuch of a sense of urgency to bring him back:
“No talk from ATL that I know of. Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there.”Tough words by LaRoche. So, what’s the deal? Well, for starters, LaRoche reportedly wants a three-year contract worth more than $7.05 million annually. Also, the Braves have 2007 second-round pick Freddie Freeman shooting up their minor league system. Freeman, 20, has a .294/.356/.452 line over his first two professional seasons and was recently ranked as the team’s No. 2 prospectby Baseball America. The sides may find a one-year compromise later, but there’s no reason to commit to an expensive mutli-year deal with a younger and far cheaper player on the rise.