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Nationals convince LaRoche to extend Washington stay
January 9, 2013 / 5:00 AM / in 5 years

Nationals convince LaRoche to extend Washington stay

(Reuters) - The Washington Nationals finally persuaded Adam LaRoche to put pen to paper on Tuesday after spending the first half of the off-season courting their lead slugger.

Washington Nationals' Adam LaRoche hits a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning in Game 4 of their MLB NLDS baseball series in Washington October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The free agent inked a two-year deal worth $24 million with an option for a third season, adding solidity to an improving Nationals team and rewarding the franchise for their patience.

The 33-year-old had earlier declined to re-sign with the Nationals as he sought out a three-year deal but the first baseman eventually opted to return to a team where he has spent the last two seasons.

“We were patient with Adam and his representatives,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the team’s website (

“At the end of the day, I think we both agreed (Washington) was the best place for Adam to be.”

Last season, LaRoche was instrumental in helping lead the Nationals to their first post-season berth since the team relocated from Montreal in 2004.

He hit .271 and led the team with 33 home runs and 100 RBIs as Washington (98-64) captured the National League East Division with the best overall MLB record.

Washington were beaten 3-2 in the best-of-five NL Division Series by the St Louis Cardinals, giving up four runs in the top of the ninth inning to fall 9-7 in the series decider.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien

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