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Red Sox Land Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox, in the midst of a miniature free fall that has dropped the team from its AL East perch, added depth to their corner infield situation and a solid right-handed bat, acquiring first baseman Adam LaRoche from the Pirates for two lower-tier minor league prospects.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the trade this morning, with LaRoche, a free agent next fall, heading to Boston for shortstop Argenis Diaz and pitcher Hunter Strickland. Neither minor league prospect is considered a sure-fire major leaguer, but with only a few months left of LaRoche's deal, it's doubtful the Pirates could have acquired much more for his services.

The 29-year-old first baseman is far from an everyday All-Star, but he's also been hitting in Pittsburgh, which provides less significantly less protection than Boston's lineup will. He's a career .269 hitter, with a .338 on base percentage and .824 OPS. However, there are two other factors in LaRoche's background that makes him significantly more desirable: 1) He's a much better hitter against right handed pitching, and 2) Historically, he's a significantly better hitter in the second half.

Boston will be hoping that both of those traits come to bear in the second half, and that they see more of the LaRoche fans may remember from his Atlanta days than the man who's played in Pittsburgh the past two and a half seasons.

Meanwhile, more players may be departing and arriving at LaRoche's new home. According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors (from a conference call), Boston GM Theo Epstein claims the team could make a lot more moves before the trade deadline. It's a fluid situation that bears watching, at the least.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 22, 2009; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Pirates , Red Sox  | Tags: Adam LaRoche, Pirates, Red Sox, Theo Epstein, trade  
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