The history of first base for the Washington Nationals is almost as depressing as their history at centerfield and catcher. Nick Johnson stands alone at the top with 11.2 fWAR and then it is Dunn, Morse, and LaRoche in a virtual tie at 3.7-3.9 fWAR. After that things get bleak with names like Dmitri Young, Adam Kennedy, and Daryle Ward, and then comes the collection of below replacement level talent and we aren't going there. The history of first base for the Washington Nationals is bleak, and trading LaRoche could send them right back to those days. The internal solutions either aren't good enough, Tyler Moore, or need more time in the minors, Matt Skole/Steven Souza Jr. There is no one good enough or ready to take LaRoche's spot in the Nationals organization and with Mike Napoli having resigned with the Red Sox there is no one available outside the organization either, but that hasn't stopped people from trying.
There are several contenders for LaRoche's job on other teams or in the free agent market that people have mentioned as first base options for the Nationals, but none of them represent an actual upgrade. Let's start with the trade options. The name that seems to excite people the most is Mark Trumbo and my best guess on that is it is people that don't know how to look up a players stats and only watch the highlight shows. Mark Trumbo hits long, impressive homeruns and is a fun player to watch in batting practice or a homerun derby. The Nats once had a player like that. His name was Wily Mo Pena. He could hit long homeruns but had no defensive position and couldn't get on base. A lot like Mark Trumbo who has a career batting line of .250/.299/.469. He was a positive fWAR player at 2.5 in 2013 and would be a nice addition for the right price, but the Angels aren't looking for the right price. They are looking for major league ready starting pitching. For the Nationals it would take either Ross Detwiler or Taylor Jordan to get Trumbo and that is simply too much for an MLB average position player.Read More