Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:35 PM
I'm fairly ambivalent about this trade. There's little question that his acquisition improves the team, without giving up much of anything. In the abstract, it's a good trade. I think some of the dissenters are concerned more with the fact that LaRoche will be occupying a roster spot than anything else. It appears we now have our full complement of corner infielders for the stretch run, as I cannot imagine any of those three guys being moved. That's fine, and LaRoche is certainly better than Kotsay. But if you think that the team's offense as currently constructed isn't good enough, Adam LaRoche is not going to do much to change your mind. And any hope, however slim it may be, for a middle-of-the-order corner infield bat (Martinez, Gonzalez, etc.) is pretty much gone.
Certainly, a lot can happen between now and the deadline, or even up until August 31st. But to me, the LaRoche trade makes any major shakeup of the offense very unlikely - the best opportunity to do that was a trade for a corner IF who would replace Mark Kotsay. I suppose they could still trade Lowell to make that move, but if that was going to be that case, wouldn't you want Kotsay's versatility in a backup role rather than LaRoche's offense?
I'm not at all surprised by the move, as I never expected much else. And really, the difference between LaRoche and, say, Huff or Johnson really isn't much at all. I think the offense is "good enough" now that the Sox have some insurance for Lowell. But for those who disagree, I can see why this move is such a disappointment.