Adam LaRoche calls the Diamondbacks his "first choice"

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adam laroche.jpgDuring an introductory conference call on Friday, new first baseman Adam LaRoche called the Diamondbacks his “first choice.”

‘This all came together obviously really fast,” LaRoche said. “There
were some other options out there and to be honest with you, this was
at the top of the list if we could work it out. From a contract
standpoint, this was my first choice.”

Or, um, the only reasonable offer left on the table? LaRoche pretty
much says as much, stating that that “offers started dwindling fast”
and that he heard of Arizona’s interest early in the offseason, but
didn’t hear much about them again until the past week.

LaRoche signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with a $7.5 million
mutual option for 2011. The option includes a $1.5 million buyout, so
he is guaranteed $6 million. LaRoche earned $7.05 million last season.

It’s a pretty small sample size, but the 30-year-old hasn’t had much
luck at Chase Field during his career, batting .238 with two home runs
and eight RBI in 42 at-bats. Still, he should provide a tremendous
offensive boost to a team that combined to hit just .229/.321/.398 with
19 home runs, 88 RBI and a league-worst .718 OPS out of the first base
position last season.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.