By Adam Lawson, WSOE Sports
The “Big Breaking News” of the day is that the Pirates have reportedly traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Red Sox for minor league prospects Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland. Doesn’t surprise me, but apparently the whole Northeast is throwing a party. Let me rain on their fiesta if that’s alright.
The deal is a wash both ways. In fact, I would say this is awful news for Red Sox fans. The only explanation for them dealing for LaRoche, or any first baseman, for that matter, is that Mike Lowell must be really hurt. Which means instead of a Lowell-Youkilis third base-first base combo the BoSox will have to rely on Youk at the hot corner, and Roachy at first. Better than a Youk-Kotsay combo, but not great by any stretch.
But, I can hear Red Sox fans arguing now, he’s a second-half hitter. You’re right, that’s his career M.O. Unfortunately for your ballclub, Mr. LaRoche isn’t having a career year. He’s hitting .247 with 12 homers and 40 RBI in 2009, and is just a .137 hitter thus far in July. For those of you new to baseball, that’s not very good.
Did Pittsburgh make out well in this? Not really. Diaz has a great glove at shortstop but can’t hit. Strickland might one day make a major league ballclub. His fastball may one day top out at 90 miles per hour and his secondary pitches have been described as average at best. But the Pirates don’t try to make good trades. They try to make as many trades as possible. It’s their own little contest, so you really can’t analyze them ever because if they make a good deal it is some sort of divine intervention that they’ll make up for later when those prospects become players that can be traded for more prospects.
So, neither team wins this trade. Not at all. The Red Sox basically receive news that Lowell is hurt, and the Pirates get two players that they hope may make a major league roster one day. Can’t wait to get home, watch Sportscenter, and hear them break this trade down like it’s Babe Ruth Trade version 2.0.