Despite losing July 22nd's game, the Red Sox are far better off after the game than they were when they first got to the field.
The Boston club is finally rid of the error-plagued Julio Lugo, sending him to St. Louis, as well as trading two prospects to Pittsburgh for Adam LaRoche. The Red Sox got OF Chris Duncan from St. Louis in the trade for Lugo. This deal overshadows a more important one, the one dealing with the Pirates. For two prospects, right-handed starter Hunter Strickland and shortstop Argenis Diaz, the Red Sox are able to reunite Jason Bay with his former teammate from the Bucs, Adam LaRoche.
The Pirates deal is of great importance because the infield needs some help, and they need it fast. Lugo was never going to work out, but Mark Kotsay playing first base often isn't going to work out, either. Mike Lowell, needing more and more time off, and getting injured more and more often, doesn't play as much as he used to when he was World Series MVP only two short years ago. This trade will allow Mike Lowell to take some time off without having to constantly rely on Mark Kotsay to play first. Kotsay has made some nice plays at first, including a few game-saving catches in the ALCS last season, however, he is an outfielder at heart.
LaRoche has a career .273 batting average, and has hit 111 homeruns in his five year career. Hopefully, he can hit a few for a Boston offense that has struggled tremendously since the All-Star break. Thankfully, this former Buc adds some depth and power to a championship contender.
The trade with the Cardinals is still very worthy to note. As Theo Epstein said in an earlier press conference, the Red Sox bought Lugo based on previous performance that he never lived up to. In 2008, by the All-Star break, Lugo had 16 errors, which is not acceptable for a starting shortstop.
The reason the LaRoche trade should overshadow this is simply because the player the BoSox got is an outfielder, and with Ellsbury, Drew, Bay, Kotsay and Baldelli already on the team, there isn't much use for yet another outfielder. It's probably safe to say that Boston was willing to take anything to get Lugo off the team.
This trade makes more sense for St. Louis simply because they need help at shortstop. With the awesomely named Khalil Greene having personal issues, the Cardinals need someone to fill a spot every now and then.
Hopefully, the sum of these additions equals a few more runs, because it's hard to be a Red Sox fan with those hated Yanks in first right now.