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    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Sox trade for LaRoche

    The Red Sox and Pirates have agreed in principle to a trade that would send first baseman Adam LaRoche of the Pittsburgh Pirates to Boston. The two sides are still finalizing details, and the deal is described as “close.”

    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.

    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.

    LaRoche is eligible for free agency following this season. He is playing on a one-year, $7.05 million deal in 2009, his last as an arbitration-eligible player. His brother, Andy, was part of the three-team deal that sent Jason Bay to Boston and Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles last July 31.

    story courtesy of Dejan Kovacevic - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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