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View Full Version : LaRoche to Pittsburgh for Gonzalez



HumnHilghtFreel
01-17-2007, 05:31 PM
ESPN.com is reporting that the Braves and Pirates have agreed to a swap of Adam LaRoche and Mike Gonzalez.

There was no word yet whether other players were involved in the deal, though the belief all along was that the Braves wouldn't make the trade without getting a second quality property back. The trade means Salomon Torres will likely take over as Pittsburgh's closer. Gonzalez will combine with Rafael Soriano to give the Braves the best setup tandem in the business.

Dracodave
01-17-2007, 05:34 PM
The always smart Braves.

LaRoche is still full of question marks, is he the second half player of the first half player? Can he focus on the game or his adhd?

goreds2
01-17-2007, 07:11 PM
I wonder if the Braves will catch heat for trading a starting eight player for a reliever. :eek:

M2
01-17-2007, 07:12 PM
I like the trade for the Pirates. Gonzalez is a decent lefty reliever. He's never pitched more than 54 IP in a season and he puts too many RHBs on base when he faces them. He's a bit of a new age Ricardo Rincon.

Now, I don't expect Adam LaRoche to go on and become the next Brian Giles, but Pittsburgh is a good park for LH hitters and he's heading into his prime. He could hit 100 HR with 300 RBIs over the next three years. Would I trade Mike Gonzalez for that? You bet I would.

flyer85
01-17-2007, 09:43 PM
The fact that the Braves tried all off-season tells that they think the 2nd half of 2006 was a fluke and they were going to sell high.

Are they right? Only time will tell.

RedsFan75
01-18-2007, 08:34 AM
I wonder if the Braves will catch heat for trading a starting eight player for a reliever. :eek:

Yep!

Got some friends who are Braves fans and they are livid over this one.

Bigredfan#1
01-18-2007, 09:58 AM
Braves either think that LaRoche was an abberation or they are doing like everyone else and think that middler relief is where it is at!!

jojo
01-18-2007, 10:44 AM
The always smart Braves.

LaRoche is still full of question marks, is he the second half player of the first half player? Can he focus on the game or his adhd?

I guess I don't see LaRoche as a question mark. Here' my take:

offense:
mlb 2006 average 1B: .282/.358/.483
Pecota '07 projection for LaRoche: .277/.352/.511

defense:
PMR to runs: -4.5 (ranked 31st in the majors at firstbase)

LaRoche projects as a slightly better than average first baseman offensively and a decidedly below average first baseman defensively. Overall, he's roughly an average first baseman. That's pretty valuable at his current $420,000 (3 yrs service time) but his value will begin decreasing significantly as arbitration and free agency dramatically increases his salary. It's not that terribly difficult to find a first baseman who can put up a reasonable facsimile of the offensive numbers that LaRoche has/is projected to put up... For instance, the Reds platooned two turnips last season and got this from first base: .297/.390/.480 for the cost of about $2M. It's also not that terribly difficult to find a good closer see JJ Putz (who was never a highly valued prospect) for instance (or any of Billy Beane's creations).

The Braves aren't necessarily selling Laroche high with regards to his production....they're selling high with regard to his value (i.e. cost of his production). This is a good move for both teams IMHO-both get needs met cheaply and can probably fill the gaps in their rosters left by the trade by looking in-house. The Braves have dramatically rehaped their pen-a glaring weakness from '06- by both going younger and cheaper this offseason. They essentially acquired two of the most sought after pen arms on most GMs wish lists. I don't think there is a hidden motive for trading Laroche. The Reds could probably have used every player involved in this trade.

Z-Fly
01-18-2007, 12:37 PM
IIRC Didn't LaRoche platoon with a guy that is probably 50? I think I would rather have gonzo.

Chip R
01-18-2007, 01:48 PM
IIRC Didn't LaRoche platoon with a guy that is probably 50? I think I would rather have gonzo.


I'm actually surprised Wayne hasn't traded for him - Franco, not LaRoche.

jojo
01-18-2007, 01:50 PM
IIRC Didn't LaRoche platoon with a guy that is probably 50? I think I would rather have gonzo.

He didn't platoon in '06.

Atlanta had 602 at bats from their first basemen and Laroche had 480 of them... a majority of those 122 at bats were missed by Laroche due to a recurring hamstring injury and the occasional day off (he played 142 games in '06).