Updated trade spin: LaRoche to Red Sox, Bucs call up Pearce


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche(notes) has been dealt to the Red Sox for as-yet unknown pieces a pair of semi-prospects. LaRoche has been a terrific second-half hitter over the course of his career, which isn't news to the fantasy community. His lifetime post-break OPS is .901 and his pre-break OPS is .773. If history is any guide, Boston is buying at the right time.

But what will the Red Sox do with LaRoche? Will he fill the Mark Kotsay(notes) role? Is Mike Lowell(notes) headed back to the DL? LaRoche is probably looking at spot-start/platoon duty, so his fantasy value clearly takes a hit unless other pieces are in motion.

My knee-jerk fantasy reaction is this: Pick up Lastings Milledge(notes) if you need outfield assistance and/or steals. This trade would seem to clear a path to playing time for him, with Garrett Jones(notes) shifting permanently to first base. More discussion as details roll in...

Update, 1:40 pm EDT: OK, we now have two additional names to throw at you. This via Boston's WEEI:

According to multiple baseball sources, the Pirates will receive shortstop Argenis Diaz and pitcher Hunter Strickland when the deal is finalized. Diaz is known as a gifted defensive player, but there are questions about his bat. The 22-year-old Diaz is hitting .253/.309/.310 with Double-A Portland this year. Strickland, an 18th round pick in 2007, is 5-4 with a 3.35 ERA for the Greenville Drive of the Single-A South Atlantic League this year. The 6-foot-5 20-year-old has shown excellent command for the Drive, with a 51-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 83.1 innings this year.

MLB.com reports that the deal is expected to be announced soon. Neither Diaz nor Strickland are of immediate interest to fantasy owners. The earlier advice stands: Add Milledge as needed. Over his last 10 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, he's 14-for-35 with seven walks, two steals and five runs scored. Also, it appears that he's not in the lineup today.

Update No. 2, 3:40 pm EDT: Additional (disappointing) details here from the Post-Gazette:

[GM Neal] Huntington confirmed that 1B Steve Pearce(notes) will join the team in Phoenix tomorrow, but that OF Lastings Milledge is not coming. Outfielder Jeff Salazar(notes) will stay.

Huntington also said he expects Pearce to get "an extended look, something he really hasn't had."

The 26-year-old Pearce isn't nearly as interesting as Milledge. Pearce was hitting .287 at Triple-A Indy with 13 homers and three steals in 10 attempts; he's hit .254/.306/.397 in 206 big league plate appearances. John Russell recently described Milledge as "very close" to the majors, so there's still hope.

Here's some Boston spin from Ian Browne:

LaRoche will give the Red Sox pop off the bench and insurance and depth for Mike Lowell. It will also enable manager Terry Francona to keep Youkilis and Ortiz fresher.

Sounds like three or four games a week for LaRoche, unless injuries clear a path. At least he won't face many lefties; he's hitting .226/.255/.377 against them this year.


Photo via Getty Images

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