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LaRoche for Kotchman: A Move Gone Overlooked by Theo and the Red Sox

D JonesContributor IDecember 16, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 08:  Casey Kotchman #11 of the Boston Red Sox catches a ball at first base during the game on August 8, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Let's all take a step back a few months.  

July 22, 2009: Boston Red Sox acquire 1B Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates for two prospects, neither big names.  

July 31, 2009: Boston Red Sox acquire 1B Casey Kotchman from the Atlanta Braves for 1B Adam LaRoche.  

At the time, most Sox fans thought of the LaRoche-Kotchman deal pretty much a steal for the Sox.  

In Kotchman, we were supposedly going to get a better batting average and much better defense at a cheaper price.  

In the batting part?  We were dead wrong.  

In 39 games with the Red Sox, Kotchman batted .218 with 1 HR and 7 RBI.  

In six games with the Sox, LaRoche batted .263 with 1 HR and 3 RBI.  

For Atlanta, he batted .325 with 12 HR and 40 RBI in 57 games and 212 AB.  

And now the Sox are left looking for a 1B/3B.  

This move went widely overlooked by Red Sox nation.  

Nobody thought very highly of Kotchman, but we didn't realize what a difference there was between LaRoche and Casey.  

For one, LaRoche is a lefty with opposite field power, perfect for Fenway.  

Then with Kotchman, the only time you can say the words "power" or "good hitter" is if they include the words "has no" or "is not by any means a" in the same sentence.

LaRoche tied Kotchman's HR total and nearly doubled his RBI total while in Boston.  

However, keep in mind that this was in... 19 ABs.  

Kotchman had a good 95 ABs to do what he did.  

Which was virtually nothing.  

In a park like Fenway, LaRoche had the potential to possibly get to the 30-HR plateau he got to in 2006.  

He could've hit bomb after bomb over the Green Monster.  

Kotchman?  

Well by his production so far in Boston, he's already been called (and rightfully so) a dud.  

Think for a second.  

If we had LaRoche, there would be no more "what the hell are we going to do with Mike Lowell" drama.  

Now people are not sure whether they want to keep Lowell and have him play 3B, or think what Theo apparently thinks, and send him to Texas for Max Ramirez.  

LaRoche would expel that drama.  

But sadly, there is always the word if.  

IF we had kept LaRoche.  

IF we had kept Hanley Ramirez.  

IF we had taken out Pedro in '03.  

Unfortunately, we will never get to find out.  

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