The verdict is in.
According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Adam LaRoche will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday.
The decision to go ahead with surgery was made during a meeting with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, manager Jim Riggleman, trainer Lee Kuntz and team doctor Wiemi Douoguih prior to tonight’s game against the Cardinals. He is expected to be 100 percent for spring training next season.
LaRoche was diagnosed with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder during spring training. The 31-year-old first baseman attempted to play through the discomfort, but batted just .172/.288/.258 with two home runs and a .546 OPS over his first 177 plate appearances prior to going on the disabled list last month. He was put on a multi-week rehab plan as a last-ditch effort to avoid surgery, but his shoulder hasn’t responded as hoped.
The Nationals signed LaRoche during the offseason to a two-year, $16 million contract with a mutual option for 2013. He is owed $8 million in 2012.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.