Giancarlo Stanton's extension became official on Wednesday afternoon, and the Marlins will now focus on improving the roster beyond their star right fielder. ESPN's Jayson Stark reported the Marlins have shown "aggressive interest" in free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told on Wednesday the Marlins offered the former National a 2 year, $20 million contract.
According to a source, the Marlins have made a two-year, $20 million offer to free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, who hit .259 with 26 homers and 92 RBI for Washington in 2014.
LaRoche is coming off of a .259/.362/.455 campaign with Washington, during which he posted 94 RBIs and played in 140 games. The Marlins have made it clear they are prepared to move on from Garrett Jones, who struggled offensively last season, at first base, and are looking for an upgrade. LaRoche is a veteran with experience, and the Marlins have reportedly liked him since the middle of last season.
Stanton will make salaries of $6.5 and $9 million over the next two seasons, and backloaded his contract so that the Marlins can build around him. The fact that Miami made a quick offer to LaRoche is not too significant because of their interest in adding a first baseman, however they may fall short in both length and value. LaRoche made $12 million last season, and is among the best first baseman on the market. A big market team looking for a first baseman could likely easily outbid the Marlins if the reported numbers are accurate.
Before he makes a decision, LaRoche will likely evaluate all of his options. Playing in Miami, he would have the opportunity to hit behind Stanton and over the course of a two-year deal could help the organization's young core grow.
If the Marlins are serious on LaRoche, they may alter their offer if necessary. Signing Stanton long term might make South Florida more attractive for free agents, and if the Marlins can land LaRoche, they would address a need quickly and can focus their attention elsewhere.