The Red Sox may not have acquired a huge, overpowering, Manny-esque bat yet, but they did bolster their lineup by snagging Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche on Wednesday. It provides them with backup in case Mike Lowell (or Mark Kotsay) needs a lot of rest in the second half, and the new left-handed hitter gives them a better option against right-handed pitching.
It also might give the offense a breath of fresh air after it has amassed just 12 runs in its last five games — although general manager Theo Epstein insists that the move was proactive, not a reaction to the team's recently stagnant offense.
"This move we made today is not in the least bit reaction," he told WEEI.com in a conference call. "When we sat down to assess where we were at the All-Star break, the way we assessed it was we were basically dead even in a three-way race … I think we're a good offensive club having a horrific month."
Whether LaRoche will realistically be able to boost the offense is up for debate: So far this year, he's hitting .247 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs. He is, however, a notorious second-half hitter, with a post-All-Star break OPS of .901. He also has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his six major league seasons.
"This was a chance to get — at a very reasonable acquisition cost — a player that we think will help our club, help against right-handed pitching, add to our depth and leave us in a position to look for more impact before the end of the trading deadline," Epstein said.
LaRoche is expected to join the team on Friday — but even after he arrives, Epstein insists that the club won't stop searching for additional trades.
"There's a second category of player we're also going to pursue," he said, "where the player can make a significant impact on the roster. Those trades are hard to make. That doesn't mean you don't pursue them."