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Andy Laroche

Andy Laroche

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Print Email link Respond to editor Post commentOnline First: FSHS grad Adam LaRoche traded to Red SoxWednesday, July 22, 2009Tribune Staff ReportAdam LaRoche Adam LaRoche, a 1997 graduate of Fort Scott High School, was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Boston Red Sox Wednesday for two mid-level prospects.

The Red Sox will be the third major league team for LaRoche, a first baseman who began his major league career with the Atlanta Braves before he was traded to the Pirates two seasons ago.

His brother, Andy, joined Adam on the Pirates after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a mid-season trade last year.

The Pirates received Double-A shortstop Argenis Diaz and Class-A right-hander Hunter Strickland, an 18th-round draft pick two years ago.

The trade was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on its Web site.

LaRoche, eligible for free agency after this season, has not played as well as hoped in Pittsburgh, hitting .247 with 12 homers, 40 RBIs and 81 strikeouts in 87 games this season.

He has been slumping since July 4, going 5 for 46 (.109) with one RBI and 16 strikeouts.

LaRoche was hitless in 22 at-bats during the slide.

The 29-year-old LaRoche was expected to supply a much-needed left-handed power bat when the Pirates dealt left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez to Atlanta for him in January 2007, but he hasn't hit better than .272 in two-plus seasons and had poor starts in 2007 and 2008.

LaRoche, 29, hit 32 homers for Atlanta in 2006, but his best season with Pittsburgh was 25 homers and 85 RBIs a year ago.

LaRoche will be reunited with former Pirate teammate Jason Bay, who was sent to the Red Sox in the trade that included Andy LaRoche last summer.

Last year's trade couldn't have worked out much better for the Red Sox, as Bay went into Wednesday's games with 72 RBIs, the third most in the AL.

The Pirates, by contrast, have gotten little out of the July 31, 2008, deal that was highlighted by Manny Ramirez going from the Red Sox to the Dodgers.

Andy LaRoche has four homers and 36 RBIs this season as an everyday third baseman in Pittsburgh.

(Advertisement) Adam LaRoche signed a $7.05 million contract this season to avoid arbitration, but the Pirates didn't made any serious move to re-sign him.

The Red Sox will have to decide how to use LaRoche, who will play in the American League for the first time.

Kevin Youkilis is Boston's every day first baseman.

Mark Kotsay, who, like LaRoche, is left-handed, is listed as the backup and is also a reserve outfielder.

David Ortiz is Boston's designated hitter.

However, Red Sox manager Terry Francona is known for utilizing his bench players.

It is speculated that Youkilis will play third base more often to stand in for Mike Lowell so that he can rest his surgically-repaired hip.

LaRoche would likely step in at first base on those days.

On a side note, should LaRoche remain with the Red Sox, he will make his first career appearance in Kansas City when Boston visits for a four-game series Sept.


When LaRoche was with the Braves, they did not make any visits to Kansas City.

Although the Pirates are a common interleague opponent for the Royals, they did not visit during LaRoche's 2 1/2 seasons there.

Some information for this summary was provided by Associated Press reporters Alan Robertson and Jimmy Golen and the Boston Red Sox web site,
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