UPDATE, 1:15: WEEI says the Pirates are getting Greenville (A) pitcher Hunter Strickland and Portland (AA) shortstop Argenis Diaz.
12:46 p.m.: Strange, but LaRoche is still sitting in the Pirates' dugout during the game. Hard to tell if he has a uniform on because he is wearing a jacket over the jersey, but he is wearing a Pirates cap. Could be that the Pirates are awaiting paperwork to be completed.No word yet on who the Red Sox are sending to Pittsburgh.
AVG OBP SLG OPS OPS+This is an upgrade over Mark Kotsay. LHB LaRoche, 29, will most likely play first against against right-handers, with Youkilis moving to third base. Mike Lowell has a .903 OPS against lefties this season.
2004 .278 .333 .488 .821 108
2005 .259 .320 .455 .775 100
2006 .285 .354 .561 .915 130
2007 .272 .345 .458 .803 108
2008 .270 .341 .500 .841 123
2009 .247 .329 .441 .770 108
LaRoche has also been a much better hitter in the second half. The past three seasons, post-July 1 (grabbed from SoSH):
2006: .324 AVG 53 RS 19 HR 50 RBIFangraphs calls LaRoche
2007: .321 AVG 40 RS 11 HR 43 RBI
2008: .321 AVG 34 RS 17 HR 51 RBI
good enough to start against right-handers for a team not in contention, but he's a reserve on any team really trying to win. ...
His defense at first is below average, so the overall package is worth about +1 to +2 wins per season. He's not a terrible player - just a bit below average. He's also the kind of player you should never pay serious money to, which is why the Pirates had to be thrilled to dump the rest of the $7 million he was owed for 2009. ...
LaRoche gives them the ability to not have a hole at first base, and that has value. Is it worth $3 million? If you're the Red Sox, apparently it is.