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Marlins have shown 'aggressive interest' in Adam LaRoche

With Giancarlo Stanton locked up, the Marlins are looking to add a bat to the middle of their order, and former National Adam LaRoche could become a Marlin this offseason.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Miami already kept a key bat in the lineup by extending Giancarlo Stanton, and the Marlins are not done yet. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the Marlins have shown "aggressive interest" in free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, who they had been linked to earlier this offseason.

The Marlins are looking for a middle-of-the-order bat to hit behind Stanton, and they have shown aggressive interest in free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, among others.

LaRoche is coming off of a 26 home run season with the Washington Nationals, and is considered one of the best first baseman on the market. In 140 games, LaRoche posted a .259/.362/.455 batting line to complement 92 RBIs.

The Marlins owe Garrett Jones $5 million next season, but may look to trade him this winter. Jones struggled at the plate in 2014, and his inconsistent bat could lead the Marlins to explore other options. Miami was confident Jones would be a productive first base option last spring, and may have to pay some of his salary if a trade can be agreed upon.

Stark was among those who reported Stanton's extension was not worth as much over the first few years in order to give the Marlins payroll flexibility. Signing LaRoche, who earned $12 million last season, would address a team need and give Manager Mike Redmond a bat to place behind Stanton in the lineup.

Miami has not been publicly searching for a first baseman, likely because Jones is still on the roster. The club traded Kyle Jensen to the Dodgers on Monday night, and Justin Bour would be the most realistic internal option. Casey McGehee could play first base, however the Marlins do not have depth at third base. One of the few reasons McGehee could switch positions is to accommodate Pablo Sandoval, who the Marlins have been linked to but have yet to express interest in.

LaRoche might also benefit from the spaciousness of Marlins Park, and could be signed to a two or three year deal, which would likely be realistic for the Marlins. The organization will explore all available first base options, but signing LaRoche would improve Miami's offense while providing even more protection for Stanton in the lineup.