And even though Red Sox manager Terry Francona was busy getting ready for the team’s series finale against the Texas Rangers, he had time to share his initial thoughts on the trade with NESN’s Heidi Watney.
“We’re always excited to get good players … He’s a good left-hand hitter, a good defensive first baseman,” Francona said. “Sometimes you’re able to get players — for different reasons — where you’re not giving up major league personnel. I’m not saying we don’t care about the guys we gave up, because that’s not true. But we’re not giving up anybody from our team, and it certainly gives us a deeper 25-man roster.”
In exchange for LaRoche, the Red Sox sent mid-level prospects Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland to Pittsburgh. Diaz is a Double-A shortstop whose main asset is his defense, while Strickland is a 20-year-old Single-A pitcher who scouts say has a chance to make it as a reliever on the strength of his fastball.
On the other side, LaRoche, 29, is a career .269 hitter with 123 total home runs. His best year came in 2006, when he hit .285 with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs for the Braves. He likely will come off the bench for the Red Sox, giving them a good backup and insurance policy for Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis.
You can watch the full video, featuring comments from both Francona and GM Theo Epstein, below: