It’s been long enough since our heartbreaking end to the season that I can compose some thoughts without letting my emotions run roughshod over my writing. I can find solace in the fact that we are a team on the upswing and not an aging squad that was giving it one last hurrah this season. We were the second youngest team in the majors this season, which makes the team’s accomplishments that much more admirable. Congratulations to the 2012 team. You really provided us with a great season.
Moving on to our potential offseason moves, thankfully we don’t have a ton of holes to fill. We do have some interesting questions though. The first is obviously first base. I was at the game where the crowd cheered loudly when LaRoche got his 100th RBI. But that subtle uptick from a 2-digit to 3-digit total, combined with his subsequent Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, likely made his new salary demand jump by a few million per year. I believe the key here is not the money though. If he would sign for 2 years, I’d love to have him back. His glove was truly impressive and saved a lot of potential errors this year. But I would not want to get locked into a deal longer than that. His offensive production is bound to drop substantially in a third or fourth year, and at something like $15 million per year, we don’t need that albatross in those years. Additionally, we have a capable young rising star that could play there: Tyler Moore. The guy needs a plce to play, and has some real nice pop in his bat. The big question is his glove. I have not see him play enough at first base (I don’t get to see any minors games where he played there extensively), so I don’t know his true fielding skills. But if that’s his natural position and the Nats had him paying there in the minors, then they must believe in his glove. Michael Morse could also be an option. Although he played capable defense as a regular there in 2011, he was not a gold glove caliber fielder. Whichever way the chips fall, I believe we’ll have a more than capable solution at first base.