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6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #1 by Jordan Tuwiner » December 20th, 2012, 1:51 am

1. He Had a Career Year at Age 33
A player who posts a career season at age 33 isn't likely to repeat his production. LaRoche had another great season at age 26, and in 2012 posted the best marks of his career since that season in the following categories:

-fWAR (highest of his career)
- wOBA
- ISO
- OPS
- SLG (highest of his career)
- HR (career high)
- wRC+

2. He'd Likely Get a 3-year Deal
It would be silly to give a player who is on the wrong side of 30 a 3-year deal.

3. How Much of an Uprade is he over Chris Davis?
The Orioles would probably have to shell out about $12 million per year for LaRoche. He'd be replacing Chris Davis, who was worth 2.1 fWAR last year, at 1B.

Let's say Davis puts up 2.5 fWAR next year and LaRoche doesn't put up his career average fWAR of 2.3, but still puts up a very solid 3.0 fWAR (that's generous -- Bill James' projection gives him a 2.5 fWAR next year). This creates a difference of 0.5 fWAR, which, on the FA market, is worth $2.25 million. So, the Orioles would be paying $12 million for an upgrade that should be worth $2.25 million.

I understand that LaRoche would push Davis to DH, but that also pushes Wilson Betemit/someone else out of the lineup. As it stands, we'll probably see Davis at 1B with Betemit platooning at DH with a RHH. A Betemit platoon with a decent RHH, possibly Reimold or Pearce, should be able to put up at least a 1.5 fWAR -- probably more.

The positional adjustment from moving Davis from 1B to DH would be 0.5 fWAR (assuming a full season), so Davis now becomes a 2.0 fWAR player.

So, assuming LaRoche is a 0.5 fWAR upgrade over Davis at 1B and Davis is a 0.5 fWAR upgrade over whatever platoon/whoever is DH, we have a total of 1 fWAR. The Orioles would be paying ~$12 million for 1 fWAR, which should cost about $4.5 million. This is an overpay of $7.5 million.

It would be silly to overpay for LaRoche when, really, the upgrade he is actually providing would be minimal.

4. Why Give up a Draft Pick?
If the Orioles sign LaRoche, they will be forced to give up their 2013 first round draft pick. For a team like the Orioles, it's important to have a steady flow of prospects and giving up a draft pick for LaRoche when the upgrade he'd prove is minimal simply does not make sense.

5. Is LaRoche Really the Middle of the Order Bat the O's Need?
LaRoche is solid. He's not a bad hitter. But he's not the middle of the order bat the Orioles need. LaRoche's career OPS is .820, so why do some believe he is the kind of bat the Orioles are missing?

Adam Jones (.839), Nick Markakis (.834), and Chris Davis (.827) all posted a higher OPS in 2012, and no one considers them true middle of the order bats.

6. It's Not the Right Time to Lock up a 1B
Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman are on their way to the big leagues. The Orioles should content in 2013 but they probably won't be great (I hope I'm wrong). It's pretty obvious...if Dan Duquette thought the Orioles really, really had a chance next season he would have done more than sign Nate McLouth (I'm fine with that). Let's see what the Orioles do this season and then decide on the 1B solution.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #2 by dan72 » December 20th, 2012, 7:27 am

What Buck covets the most about LaRoche is his glove. I think LaRoche would be a major upgrade over Davis defensively and he does add power when you move Davis to the DH spot. I also think davis could see time in RF if we were to aquire LaRoche.
If the salary I am hearing is correct at 10 million per, I see that as a good deal comparitive to what the Yankees paid for Yuk and the Redsox for their band of middle age average players...... three reasons to pull the trigger:
1. Our pitching being average at best needs a solid defense behind it. LaRoche bolsters the defense. This is not even debatable.
2. Currently Davis and Jones are the only feared hitters in the lineup, and both of them are some what streaky. LaRoche adds a 3rd bat to fear for opposing pitchers.
3. Not all 1st round picks amount to anything. ie. Billy Rowell, and Matt Hobgood. It's not a given that we will pass up a stud with a late first round pick.

Just my opinion, I'm ready to win now.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #3 by Jordan Tuwiner » December 20th, 2012, 12:54 pm

I'd like to win now but 1) our window should not be closed over the next two years and 2) I outlined that LaRoche would not even add a whole lot of value to the club.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #4 by ofahn » December 20th, 2012, 1:26 pm

Jordan Tuwiner wrote:I'd like to win now but 1) our window should not be closed over the next two years and 2) I outlined that LaRoche would not even add a whole lot of value to the club.


First, IMO "winning now" will have a LOT more to do with the maturation of our pitching than Adam LaRoche. That being said I can see LaRoche being an important part of the solution.

Right now, many of us BELIEVE that Davis can play above average defense at 1B; but we KNOW that LaRoche would play at that level or better. Look at how much better our team played last year after we fixed the defense.

Again, many of us BELIEVE that Betemit can be a run producer against RH pitching as the DH; but we KNOW that Davis is a developing run producer and would make DH an almost sure thing.

If we sign LaRoche we could trade Betemit and use Reimold and Valencia against tough LHs at DH and LF. LaRoche won't guarantee a playoff appearance in 2013, but IMO he would take us one step closer.

Since I would trade the typical player that we would draft with our first pick this year I would be willing to give up that pick to sign him.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #5 by OriolesRedskins28 » December 20th, 2012, 1:28 pm

Great points Jordan. Totally agree.

I think people are sleeping on a platoon of Betemit and Valencia at DH which is what Laroche's offensive production would be replacing. Laroche's 2012 wOBA: .368, Betemit's 2012 wOBA vs. RHP: .370.

Not that much of an upgrade even if we got him for free IMO (taking into consideration his age and expected regression), let alone for 2-3 years and a first round draft pick.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #6 by OriolesRedskins28 » December 20th, 2012, 1:32 pm

ofahn wrote:Again, many of us BELIEVE that Betemit can be a run producer against RH pitching as the DH; but we KNOW that Davis is a developing run producer and would make DH an almost sure thing.

If we sign LaRoche we could trade Betemit and use Reimold and Valencia against tough LHs at DH and LF. LaRoche won't guarantee a playoff appearance in 2013, but IMO he would take us one step closer.


I think the numbers over the past few years (especially last year) indicate that Betemit can be a run producer against RHP.

Another problem is that Laroche will be 33 this year and while he might help this year, he will probably regress even further next year (and even more the year after that if he gets 3 years).
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #7 by ofahn » December 20th, 2012, 1:34 pm

OriolesRedskins28 wrote:he will probably regress even further next year (and even more the year after that if he gets 3 years


I've been very clear that three years is a DEAL BREAKER for me.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #8 by OriolesRedskins28 » December 20th, 2012, 1:43 pm

ofahn wrote:
I've been very clear that three years is a DEAL BREAKER for me.


My mistake, take out the last part then. He should still regress (which includes his defense) next year and the year after that (more so in the second year).
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #9 by BuckMagic » December 20th, 2012, 1:54 pm

Great post....rep

On a one year deal I might take a chance but he is guaranteed at least two....so.....pass.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #10 by birdwatcher55 » December 20th, 2012, 3:23 pm

Six reasons I would sign him:
-- The 24th pick in a mediocre draft is no huge loss. We are not picking fourth anymore. We also have a compensation pick coming which would likely be not far removed from the 24th pick.
-- Laroche is a Gold Glove type first baseman. He saves you outs and helps get your pitchers out of an inning faster.
-- Laroche hit 33 homers and drove in 100 runs last season for the Nats.
-- He would give the Orioles a nice MOO bat sandwiched between Adam and Chris and would find OPACY and it's short dimensions to his liking.
-- He would not be a media circus ala Nick Swisher and would be a perfect fit for Buck in the clubhouse. He would give the Orioles added roster depth and flexibility in the event of injuries or non-production.
-- He would stay in an area he seems to enjoy - the mid Atlantic Region. 8-)
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #11 by Jordan Tuwiner » December 20th, 2012, 3:30 pm

birdwatcher55 wrote:Six reasons I would sign him:
-- The 24th pick in a mediocre draft is no huge loss. We are not picking fourth anymore.


The average value of the 24th draft pick is about $6 million. So, it's worth something for a team that needs to continue to build its farm system.

-- Laroche hit 33 homers and drove in 100 runs last season for the Nats.

That's what he did, but it's not what he is likely to do next season.

-- He would give the Orioles a nice MOO bat sandwiched between Adam and Chris and would find OPACY and it's short dimensions to his liking.

How can you say he is a middle of the order bat?
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #12 by ofahn » December 20th, 2012, 3:45 pm

OriolesRedskins28 wrote:He should still regress (which includes his defense) next year and the year after that (more so in the second year).


OR28,

I'm not calling you out because I've always respected your POV, but I'll ask you what I posted earlier:

I challenge anyone to come up with a better bat, that has a better glove, at a position we can accommodate, for a reasonable salary, on a contract that doesn't commit us to "bad contract years".


I don't see 2013 as a championship year but I don't want regress, either. If the pitching continues to develop then we're a 90 win team. A little luck and we could be back in the post season. Why not add ONE reasonably priced piece that would give us a chance to keep the fans excited in September?

I agree with your evaluation that LaRoche's production will decline in the second year. So, let's suppose it drops to what we might have gotten from Reynolds THIS year if we would have picked up his option. Less than two million more for BETTER defense and the same production. When you consider that we don't have anyone in our system that would give us the same level of play, I see the value in the signing.

You might consider that I have always taken the fiscally prudent approach to acquiring players. I just see TWO YEARS at 25M for LaRoche as an acceptable price.
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #13 by OriolesRedskins28 » December 20th, 2012, 6:39 pm

I think the sum of parts approach the team has now works out better than signing Laroche. I like that between LF, 1B, and DH they have movable parts and platoon options including McLouth, Reimold, Davis, Betemit, and Valencia. Adding Laroche would subtract one of those players and I don't think that would be necessary. He would immediately become the best defensive option at 1B which I think is a very important defensive position, but that's the only reason I would consider him.

Sure 2 years for 25 million wouldn't be that bad of a contract but add in the draft pick and I just don't think it's worth it.

I agree his glove at 1B would be a nice addition but I think the sum of the group I listed earlier can mix and match to reach or even surpass what his 2013 production would be for much cheaper (and no loss of draft pick).
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #14 by LA Detective » December 20th, 2012, 7:49 pm

I agree with all the reasons on the first post. Nope on LaRoche..
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Re: 6 Reasons The Orioles Should Not Sign Adam LaRoche

PostPost #15 by ofahn » December 20th, 2012, 7:56 pm

OriolesRedskins28 wrote:they have movable parts and platoon options including McLouth, Reimold, Davis, Betemit, and Valencia. Adding Laroche would subtract one of those players


In effect, I'm suggesting we trade the equivalent of Nick Delmonico and Wilson Betemit for Adam LaRoche and another piece and you think that's a bad idea? OK, I'll accept that doesn't work for you, but I can't understand why.
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