Adam LaRoche wants to return to Washington, D.C., and the Nationals would certainly love to have their first baseman back next year.
But the two sides have yet to come to an agreement, still at odds over the length of a potential contract. LaRoche, 33, would prefer a three-year deal, and he could very easily get one elsewhere as perhaps the best available free-agent first baseman. Meanwhile, the Nationals would prefer a two-year contract, keeping first base open for a number of future options at the position.
The two camps came together this weekend, but not at a negotiating table. LaRoche made a rare offseason exodus from his ranch in Kansas to take part in the Davey Johnson Celebrity Invitational on Saturday, the first charity event the longtime manager has hosted. Johnson has used every opportunity to make his sales pitch, and LaRoche had a long talk with Washington general manager Mike Rizzo on Friday night at a kickoff party for Johnson's fundraiser.
Based on that conversation, LaRoche said neither side felt like it needed to get a deal done immediately. Both camps can take their time and continue to state their respective cases. But LaRoche didn't hide the fact that his first priority would be returning to Washington and, ideally, finishing his career there.
Read more: Amid contract negotiations, first baseman LaRoche eager to remain with Washington Nationals | MLB.com: News