White Sox officially sign Adam LaRoche for 2 years


Aug 24, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) bats against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It finally became official this week, but the Chicago White Sox have signed first baseman/designated hitter Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract.

In a press release on this week, the White Sox had to following to say about LaRoche in a statement from General Manager Rick Hahn:

"“Adam’s signing addresses several important needs for our club heading into the 2015 season. He provides a proven left-handed bat in the middle of our lineup, brings a valuable mix of the ability to get on base and power, and he is a veteran leader on the field and in the clubhouse.”"

Like I’ve said before in an earlier article, I have no problem with this move, because LaRoche can still hit the baseball well, and now he’ll stay fresher because it is said he’s only going to play the field a couple times per week.

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That schedule also gives Jose Abreu a chance to just have at-bats two times per week as a designated hitter (when LaRoche is playing first base), and a break from the field.

I consider that a win-win for both players, especially as Abreu continues to get used to the MLB grind that is a 162 game regular season schedule.

The left-handed batting LaRoche, who has played the past four seasons with the Washington Nationals, had 21 home runs last season, and batted .280 with 76 RBIs just against right-handed pitching. For the season in ’14, LaRoche batted .259 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs.

The release from the White Sox also says of LaRoche:

"“He has recorded 20 or more home runs eight times in his career, 30-plus doubles six times and 100 RBI twice. LaRoche also owns a .995 fielding percentage at first base.”"

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I believe this free agent signing, that will cost the White Sox $25 million for the two seasons, is an upgrade over previous designated hitter Adam Dunn, because if nothing else the overall strikeouts should be cut down noticeably, and that will make a big difference.

The contract for LaRoche says he’ll be paid $12 million this upcoming season and $13 million in ’16.

It should be an interesting time as the ’15 season progresses with LaRoche protecting Abreu in the batting order, as it won’t be an easy out if pitchers decide to skip on pitching to Abreu this upcoming season.