After the Washington Nationals and Adam LaRoche agreed to terms on a new two-year contract on Tuesday, LaRoche discussed his new deal in a phone conversation with The Washington Times. The details from that conversation can be found here.
But on Wednesday, in a conference call, LaRoche expanded on the process that got him to the point where he signed the two-year $24 million deal with an option for 2015. One of the few parts of the negotiation process he shed a little light on was his desire for a no-trade clause.
In general, it seemed the main sticking point in the negotiations was LaRoche’s desire for a third year. The sides agreed, ultimately, on a mutual option with a $2 million buyout that helped boost the average annual value of the contract closer to the range that LaRoche was seeking over the life of the deal.
But LaRoche said Wednesday that he came to grips “probably a week ago,” that the Nationals were not going to relent on the years. Then he turned his attention to the no-trade.
“Toward the beginning it was the third year but we kind of conceded that,” LaRoche said. “It was probably more some of the smaller things. Working out the buyout or whether we could do a no-trade clause. To be honest, that no-trade clause was a hangup for a little while.
“From my end, I don’t want to be traded. I want to be there. I don’t have to say this, you guys all know: the direction that team is going is phenomenal. I think they’re going to be really solid for a long time so I don’t want to get traded.”
The Nationals have given out just one no-trade clause to this point, and that is to right fielder Jayson Werth. Even Ryan Zimmerman, the Face of the Franchise himself, doesn’t have a specific no-trade clause in his extension. Of course, Zimmerman will achieve his 10-5 rights (10 years in the league, the last five with the same team) after the 2014 season (which is as good as a no-trade clause) and there are escalators in his salary should he be traded before that point. Rizzo, however, gave a public assurance when Zimmerman signed his extension that he would not be traded as long as Rizzo was the GM.
After Werth, however, it seems the Nationals are going to try as hard as possible not to give out no-trade clauses, another reality LaRoche had to come to terms with if he wanted to return.
“I think they did it for Jayson and after that they’re going to shut that down and not give anymore no-trade provisions,” LaRoche said. “That was something to work through and it took a little longer than I would have liked.
“We do our job on the field and do what we’re capable of doing, I don’t think it’s going to be an issue anyways,” LaRoche added.