Miami wasn't happy with Garrett Jones' performance at first base in 2014. And as a result, the organization may be ready to move on.
Washington is expected to turn down Adam LaRoche's $15 million option, and according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins could pursue LaRoche this offseason.
Add Adam LaRoche to the handful of first basemen of interest to the Marlins in free agency. He hit .259 with 26 homers and 92 RBI for Washington. The Nationals are expected to decline a $15 million mutual option.
Jones is coming off of an inconsistent offensive campaign, during which he posted a .246/.309/.411 batting line to complement 15 home runs and 59 RBIs. Miami was confident Jones would be a plus option at first base, and thought the left-handed bat would protect Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup.
Jones started the season batting in the cleanup spot, however found himself hitting sixth or seventh as the season progressed. Miami owes him $5 million next season, which may make it difficult for the Marlins to move forward without him. But if the organization is that concerned with his offensive production, trying to trade or release him shouldn't be a big concern.
Miami has been linked to LaRoche several times in the past, and if the Nationals are no longer interested, he may be an affordable option. LaRoche is coming off of a .259/.362/.455 campaign during which he posted 26 home runs and 92 RBIs. He may be a candidate to hit cleanup and protect Stanton, and would add a veteran left-handed bat to the lineup.
The Marlins' payroll is expected to increase in 2015, and signing LaRoche may be a minor part of that. He may not be the lone available option, but would be an upgrade and should at least be considered by the organization's front office.