Baseball Insider

Nationals will try to retain LaRoche, their positional MVP

The Washington Nationals, to the surprise of no one, are going to try to keep first baseman Adam LaRoche with a new deal after the season.

LaRoche has a $10 million mutual option for 2013 the team is sure to accept and he's almost sure to decline after his brilliant season for the surprise first-place team. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said they haven't made any decisions on a new deal and won't until after the season, but sources say the team wants to keep LaRoche.

Rizzo didn't exactly hold back his praise of LaRoche's performance this year. "He's a terrific player. He's probably been our most consistent player," Rizzo said. "We love having him as a player on the club. He's exactly the player we thought he was.''

While LaRoche, hampered by injuries all last season, his first in Washington, probably isn't a candidate to win the NL MVP award, he should receive some votes on the 10 player ballots. He has 29 home runs, 92 RBI and a .270 batting average. He certainly is the Nats' positional MVP.

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