Adam LaRoche clears waivers, but trade may be difficult

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John Gambadoro of KTAR-620 in Arizona reports that Adam LaRoche has cleared waivers, meaning the Diamondbacks can make him available in trade talks with any team.
LaRoche has hit .272/.339/.489 with 20 homers and 26 doubles in 113 games, which is basically identical to his .273/.342/.492 career line. He’s far from an elite offensive first baseman, but would make for a nice stretch-run pickup for any contender in need of a solid bat from the left side.
However, his contract is why he cleared waivers unclaimed and could make him a tricky target. He’s owed about $1.5 million for the rest of this season and LaRoche’s deal also has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that increases to $9.5 million if he’s traded and includes a $1.5 million buyout.
In other words, unless a contender wants to keep him around for next season at $9.5 million the commitment for this year would be about $3 million for 40 or so games. Depending on how much salary the Diamondbacks are willing to eat, of course.

Dominic Smith dealing with a strained right quad

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Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is dealing with a strained right quad and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Smith, 22, did not play in the Mets’ first Grapefruit League game after showing up late. He played on Saturday, scoring two runs on a single and a hit-by-pitch in two plate appearances. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup.

The Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez during the offseason, which makes him the front runner for the starting job at first base. Smith needs to have a strong spring showing to make the 25-man roster but so far, it hasn’t gone well.

Smith made his major league debut in August last year and ended up playing in 49 games. He struggled to a .198/.262/.395 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 183 plate appearances.