Pirates trade Adam LaRoche to Red Sox

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The Pirates have traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox.

The Pirates will receive two prospects, shortstop Argenis Diaz and pitcher Hunter Strickland, from Boston.

Diaz, 22, bats right-handed and is batting .253 for Class AA Portland, with 14 doubles, one triple, no home runs and 24 RBIs in 76 games. His career average is .273, and his power output has been consistently low.

But Diaz is much better known for his defensive potential, which is rated as "plus-plus," in scouting terminology, and that is excellent. He occasionally struggles with the routine play -- 23 errors this season will support that -- but his range, arm and other facets are promising.

Strickland, 20, is right-handed, 6 feet, 5 inches and has a fairly ordinary arm - fastball in the 88-90 mph range - but his results have been solid early in his professional career: He has a 3.67 overall ERA, including 3.35 to go with a 5-4 record for high Class A Greenville. He has 51 strikeouts, 13 walks in 83 1/3 innings.

"Diaz is a quality defensive shortstop prospect, and he has some work to do with the bat, but we love his defense and he is going to go to Triple-A for us and play regularly there," Huntington said, adding, "In Strickland, we get a young, upside pitcher who is the type of pitcher we are looking for out of the draft. He has a good frame, good delivery and athleticism.

"In our minds this is a solid baseball trade for both clubs."

The Pirates are not including cash in the Adam LaRoche trade. Boston will assume all of the prorated remainder of LaRoche's $7.05 million salary for this season, which comes to $2.95 million.

"I appreciate Adam's work while he was with the Pirates. He is a consummate professional," Huntington said of the departing LaRoche.

"This was not an easy trade because Adam is a good player who has done a nice job for us, but in turn we got two prospect we feel very good about."

Huntington confirmed that 1B Steve Pearce will join the team in Phoenix tomorrow, but that OF Lastings Milledge is not coming. Outfielder Jeff Salazar will stay.

Huntington also said he expects Pearce to get "an extended look, something he really hasn't had."

Check PBC Blog for details, updates.


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