The Nationals continue to wait for first baseman Adam LaRoche with a two-year offer on the table for the 33-year-old. It's as far as general manager Mike Rizzo has been willing to go, but the organization has been patiently waiting for a decision and, according to baseball sources, is OK if LaRoche takes until Christmas to decide. But it doesn't want to go past that.

One reason for the delay: The other prominent position free agents hadn't broken loose yet. That has started to change with outfielder Josh Hamilton heading to Los Angeles to play for the Angels on Thursday. That leaves the Texas Rangers, Hamilton's former club, with some cash and a need for an offensive upgrade.

And while initial reports have them cool on LaRoche -- even though he would be an upgrade at first base immediately -- that can change. And all LaRoche's camp needs is one contending club to make a three-year offer to regain the leverage with Washington, which itself has Michael Morse waiting in the wings to take over at first. One of the more fascinating contract negotiations of the offseason should come to an end soon.

- Brian McNally