Why Did the Red Sox really acquire Adam LaRoche

Every year Theo Epstein makes some kind of deal before the trading deadline to bolster his team. No one will ever forget the Nomar trade for Orlando Cabrerra and Doug Meintkevich. Last year it was Manny for Jason Bay. And in ’07 it was the very forgettable Dave Murphy for Eric Gagne. I doubt this years deal will rank anywhere near the Nomar deal. Red Sox fans just hope that it is not nearly as bad as the Gagne deal.

His name is Adam LaRoche. He’s an average 1st baseman who makes over 7 million dollars a year. He comes from the Pirates. This season he has 12 HRs while knocking in 40 runs with a .247 average but has hit just .109 since July 4th. .109?? The Red Sox already have a couple of guys (Bay, Drew) who have been slumping the last few weeks. Pure and simple- he is insurance in case Mike Lowell’s hip doesn’t hold up. The Red Sox gave up 2 average to above average prospects.

Besides LaRoche being an insurance policy for Lowell (and an expensive one at that), he is also a former teammate of Jason Bay who you may remember is a free agent at the end of this season. Having Laroche around certainly can’t hurt the Red Sox chances of re-signing Bay.

Theo also traded Julio Lugo to St Louis for OF Chris Duncan. Consider that deal a success If Theo got St Louis to pay any of the 13 1/2 million left on Lugo’s contract. Duncan just adds depth to the outfield position and will probably not make it to the majors unless the Red Sox suffer an injury.

-MD

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