Was Atlanta's Adam LaRoche Acquisition the Best Deadline Move for a Bat?

Cameron BrittAnalyst IAugust 21, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 19:  Adam LaRoche #22 of the Atlanta Braves bats against the New York Mets on August 19, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Adam LaRoche has been one of the biggest cogs in a revitalized Braves lineup since coming over from Boston in a deadline deal for Casey Kotchman.

However, with names like Matt Holliday and Victor Martinez also being moved, this deal has, in a way, gone under the radar.

Let's start things off by looking at the stats of each player since joining his current team:


Adam LaRoche: 17/.404/6/12/8/.507/.754

Matt Holliday: 25/.414/5/23/17/.451/.707

Victor Martinez: 17/.324/5/14/9/.398/.581

LaRoche tops everyone in homers, OBP, and SLG% and is near par in every other offensive category, trailing in extra-base hits by one to V-Mart in as many games and on a similar pace for RBI with Holliday and Martinez.

Now, let's look at the trade chips:

Team Got—Gave Up

Adam LaRoche, cash—Casey Kotchman

Matt Holliday—Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson, Clayton Mortenson

Victor Martinez—Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, Bryan Price

Brett Wallace and Justin Masterson were the only, if you will, "blue-chip" prospects involved in their respective deals, but throwing in two additional "OK" prospects certainly doesn't help organizational depth.

But when you consider the performance of each player, the one-for-one swap the Braves pulled off looks pretty good.

Now, let's consider each team's standing at the time of each deal.

The Cardinals looked pretty good. They had very good pitching and very good hitting, and Holliday just sweetened their chances a little more.

Guess what?

They've only widened their lead in the NL Central since the acquisition.

The Red Sox wanted catching help and got it. By adding Martinez, it seemed they had just filled their biggest void.

However, since the deal, they have continued to be mortal in the wild card race and have all but fallen out of the AL East race.

The Braves had a power shortage. They were hoping to stay in contention in the NL East race and the wild card by adding a big-time right-handed bat.

Instead, they got LaRoche from Boston and have proceeded to go five games over .500 since the 31st of July while moving into a tie for second in their division and fourth in the wild card with the Florida Marlins.

Obviously, my slant on this is going to be a little distorted because of my never-dying passion for the Braves.

But when you consider the performance of the players, value of the deals, and "need-fillingness" of each move, the LaRoche trade looks like the best of these three.

The Braves may still be 6.5 out in the division but are only four out in the wild card and appear to be on the rise.

LaRoche may not be protecting Albert Pujols or replacing a legend at his position (as Martinez is doing with Jason Varitek), but there is no doubt he has had an impact on the way the Braves are mashing the ball.