Well, this is weird:
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the Red Sox have traded for first baseman Adam LaRoche of the Pittsburgh Pirates. LaRoche is a power-hitting first baseman who has averaged 24.5 homers over the past four seasons with the Braves and Pirates. He is hitting .247 with a .329 OBP and .441 slugging mark for the Pirates this year, down from career totals of .269/.338/.486. As of now, there is no word about who the Sox are sending to the Pirates.
I hope you have better luck with Kovacevic than I did; apparently the Post-Gazette's Web site was at least momentarily overwhelmed by traffic from Red Sox Nation, and I still haven't seen the original report. But Kovacevic works hard and I can't remember him ever being wrong about something, so let's steam ahead as if this trade is really happening.
Where does LaRoche fit, anyway? I suppose that David Ortiz could use a platoon partner, but that's not going to work since he and LaRoche bat left-handed. I suppose the Red Sox might be worried about Mike Lowell, except he's been perfectly fine since coming off the DL last week.
Also, Adam LaRoche isn't ... well, he's just not all that good. This is his sixth major league season. He's been excellent in two of them, and just sort of adequate in four of them. That's in the National League, mind you. In the American League he might not even be an average first baseman.
The Red Sox usually know what they're doing. I don't, yet.
Update: According to WEEI.com, the Pirates will get Double-A shortstop Argenis Diaz and Class A pitcher Hunter Strickland. Diaz was listed as the Red Sox' No. 17 prospect before the season, while Strickland wasn't listed. This looks like a salary dump, mostly.