San Diego Padres Options at First Base
By Tim Richer
Sep 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Washington Nationals first basemanAdam LaRoche
(25) hits an RBI single against the New York Mets during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
#3. Adam LaRoche-Career: .264/.340/.472, 243 HR; 2014: .259/.362/.455, 26 HR
Adam LaRoche’s time as a National is almost certainly over. Ryan Zimmerman will likely be the team’s first baseman next year due to shoulder injuries that will prevent him from playing any position that requires a significant amount throwing. This coming on LaRoche’s free agent year is bad timing for him, but it could be great timing for the Padres.
The Padres offense was one of the worst, if not the worst, offense in baseball last year. Adding a bat like LaRoche could do a lot for the Padres, especially with the terrific pitching the team has. If he was on the Padres last season, he would have led the team in home runs and RBI by a wide margin, and also been behind only Seth Smith in wRC+. While Petco could hurt his numbers, he has always performed well there, hitting .315./377/.622 with 10 home runs in 39 games.
The one issue with LaRoche is his age. He’ll be entering his age-35 season in 2015 and is bound to regress from last year. Also the Padres can’t build around him, and would have to be planning to contend next year, which should prove to be difficult with the Giants and Dodgers in the same division. If the Padres do pursue LaRoche, he can’t be the only move to help the woeful offense.