LaRoche says Braves haven't contacted him

If the Braves have any interest in re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche, he said he hasn't been told about it.

Asked Friday whether he'd heard anything from the Braves since becoming a free agent, LaRoche replied in a text message: “No talk from ATL that I know of. Guess I should have hit .400 while I was there.”

LaRoche hit .325 with 12 homers, 40 RBIs, a .401 on-base percentage and .557 slugging percentage in 57 games after being traded to the Braves from the Boston Red Sox on July 31.

Braves officials have kept private most details of their offseason plans and maneuverings this year, and all general manager Frank Wren has said about LaRoche is that the Braves haven't ruled out attempting to re-sign him.

Wren was asked Friday about the lack of contact with LaRoche and whether the Braves still have interest in bringing him back after taking care of other matters this winter.

“We have contacted him early in the offseason to let his representative know our plans," Wren answered in an e-mail.

The Braves made an offer to free-agent first baseman/outfielder Ross Gload over a week ago during baseball's Winter Meetings, but he signed with Philadelphia. The Braves also are known to have interest in several other free agents with some experience at first base, including Xavier Nady and Mark DeRosa.

The Braves might prefer a player or players with versatility to serve as a stopgap until first base prospect Freddie Freeman, 20, is ready for the majors.

LaRoche's agent has reportedly sought a three-year deal with a significant raise for his client, who made $7.05 million last season and hit .278 with 38 doubles, 25 homers and 83 RBIs in 150 games for Pittsburgh, Boston and the Braves.

Meanwhile, the Braves' current priority is attempting to trade starting pitcher Derek Lowe to free up payroll. The Los Angeles Angels and possibly New York Yankees have emerged as potential trade partners.

The Angels reportedly prefer Braves starter Javier Vazquez. Not surprising, considering Vazquez is coming off a career-best season (15-10, 2.87 ERA, 238 strikeouts) and owed $11.5 million for 2011.

Lowe (15-10, 4.67 ERA) is owed $45 million over the next three seasons in a four-year, $60 million deal he signed with the Braves last winter.

The Braves will presumably exhaust attempts to trade Lowe, 36, before entertaining offers for Vazquez, whom they'd prefer to keep atop their rotation in 2010 and possibly longer.

Vazquez has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that prevents any trade to a West Division team in either league.

He had the clause put in so he could avoid being so far from his family in Puerto Rico.