Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke to Adam LaRoche about his ongoing contract talks with the Nationals and the impending free agent first baseman said “there’s nothing definitive” but “they’ve laid a little bit of the groundwork.”
LaRoche will decline his half of a $10 million mutual option following a strong bounceback season that saw him hit .271 with 33 homers and an .853 OPS after being hurt for most of last year.
LaRoche is 32 and not quite an elite hitter, but because the free agent market is weak for big bats he should have no trouble landing a multi-year deal.
“I would like to stick around for a few years,” LaRoche told Kilgore. “Whether that’s two or four, that’ll be up to these guys. I would like to stay. I haven’t changed my position at all since I made it clear I wanted to stay here. I hope they get it done.”
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.