Posted By Jeff Fletcher on January 20, 2009 2:43 pm
At least one guy, writing for the Bucco Blog, has got it in his head that Adam LaRoche for Jonathan Sanchez would be a fine trade. Of course, this is nothing more that speculation because I have no reason to believe the author of this post has any inside knowledge whatsoever. But speculation is what we do in the blogosphere, to let’s speculate!
How good is Adam LaRoche? He is a 29-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman who has averaged 22 homers in five full big league seasons, with a .270 average and a .341 on-base percentage. His numbers have been pretty consistent over the past few years. Hey, he’s also a career .395 hitter at AT&T Park. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only 43 at-bats. He’s signed for $7.05 million for 2009, and then he’s a free agent.
The Pirates, of course, need pitching, and lots of it, and they’d probably enjoy the opportunity to get a low-priced high-upside arm like Sanchez in exchange for a guy in his walk year.
It’s an interesting trade, because I think you can make a case that it would be a bad trade for both teams, which probably means it could be a good trade for both teams. That makes perfect sense, right?
For the Giants, it’s a rental (unless they can re-sign LaRoche). That’s bad. On the other hand, how sold are you on Jonathan Sanchez? And there aren’t that many first basemen who have averaged 20 homers since 2004 just walking around. (To be exact, there are 11 first basemen in the majors who have hit more than 100 homers over the past five seasons, and most of them are superstars like Pujols, Teixeira, Howard, Morneau, Fielder.)
To me, it comes down to how likely it is that the Giants can re-sign LaRoche. If they think they can keep him, the trade is a steal. If not, they should probably look elsewhere.