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LaRoche tops agenda as Winter Meetings begin
NASHVILLE -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and his brain trust have arrived at the Winter Meetings, looking to keep the team as World Series contenders. will keep you up to date on what's going on with the Nationals during the Meetings, which begin Monday. Those updates will be on and Twitter -- @washingnats. Rizzo is expected to have afternoon sessions with the local media. He is known to be tight lipped, so it will be interesting to see what he says during the four days.

Manager Davey Johnson is also expected to talk to the media on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, giving his take on the Nationals. There will be a story on that session as well.

The Nationals go into the Winter Meetings trying to re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche, who is currently a free agent. LaRoche wants a three-year deal and made it known to's Adam Berry that he wants to return to Washington.

"[Johnson has] been all over me since the end of the season," LaRoche said. "He's been hammering on me to get this done. I'm like, 'Listen, there's two sides to this, Davey. You need to go to Riz and tell him the same thing. Don't just yell at me. Go yell at the boss, too.' I'm sure he does. They wear each other out.

"But I talked a little bit with Riz yesterday. I hope we can gain some ground. I don't think there's a huge hurry. I've made it as clear as I can that I want to come back. On the other hand, I've got two kids and a wife to worry about, too, so I can't do something stupid. I'm not looking to set a record deal, by any means. Let's get something fair and let's go. I want to finish up in D.C. And then when I'm done there, I'll be done."

Expect a domino effect if the Nationals are able to re-sign LaRoche. The Nationals will most likely trade Michael Morse. They could get a starting pitcher in return.

The Nationals could also get a starting pitcher via free agency. Zack Greinke and Dan Haren are available.

Washington also needs bullpen help. As of now, the club doesn't have any left-handed relievers, and Johnson has made it known the past two years that he loves to have more than one lefty in the 'pen.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Washington Nationals, Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse