General Manager Theo Epstein got cracking Wednesday as the Boston Red Sox acquired first baseman Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Portland shortstop Argenis Diaz and Greenville pitcher Hunter Strickland.
LaRoche, 29, is a left-handed hitter that the Red Sox desperately need in their lineup right now.
Here's a quick background on his progress this season with the Pirates:
This season LaRoche is hitting .247 with 12 home runs, and 40 RBIs with 41 walks, and an on-base percentage of .770. In his last 10 games he is 5-for-38 with one RBI and 11 strikeouts while his average dropped from .259 to .247. He has also played in 87 of Pittsburgh's 93 games.
Defensively, in 836 chances at first base, LaRoche has committed one error for a .999 fielding percentage.
With all of this said, it almost doesn't even sound promising. It almost makes fans want to yell out, "and why did Theo trade for this guy?"
Career-wise, LaRoche has put up solid and consistent numbers. Not including his rookie season in 2004, he averages around a .270 batting average, 25 homers and 85 RBI.
What can LaRoche do for the Red Sox? Despite his current slump, which is fitting in perfectly with the current starting lineup, he is the perfect piece if Mike Lowell needs rest and if Mark Kotsay is not the answer.
Like all good hitters, they all eventually breakout again.
LaRoche has outstanding defense that wouldn't be downgraded if Youkilis had to play at third and overall adding the lefty makes Boston more versatile with more options on the field and in the batting order.
Tony Massarotti of The Boston Globe has his own take on the trade acquisition.
The trading is not over in Boston.
Next will be Brad Penny. Tonight is another true test for Clay Buchholz as his performance is riding on Penny's future with the team. There is also the John Smoltz factor and he can easily be pushed into the bullpen if necessary. He has thrived in that role before.
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