The Dawg House
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   In a move that can be called nothing but surprising, the Atlanta Braves trade first baseman Casey Kotchman to the Boston Red Sox for former Braves player Adam LaRoche. LaRoche had only been with Boston for 9 days, as on the 22nd he was traded from the Pirates for prospects. Kotchman had been on fire lately, hitting 2 HRs in the last 10 games and increasing his average to .272. Bobby Cox said today that this deal was done due to the belief that LaRoche can turn it on in the second half. So, good deal or bad deal for Atlanta? Just check out the title for an answer.

   This deal doesn't look too good for the Braves. They gave up a great defensive first baseman who was starting to really improve as a batter for a guy who we had before and basically ran himself into Bobby Cox's doghouse for not hustling. So let's compare the stats. In 87 games, Kotchman has 84 hits, 6 HRs, 41 RBIs, and a batting average of .282. In 93 games, LaRoche has 85 hits, 13 HRs, 43 RBIs, and a batting average of .255. Kotchman is 26, LaRoche is 29. The stats are basically equal, so that makes me think that this deal wasn't necessary.

   Casey was traded for the second straight year at this time. This time last year, Kotchman was leaving the Angels in a deal that sent then-soon-to-be-free agent Mark Teixeira to L.A. Now comparing this deal to the '08 deal, this deal is earily similar. The biggest difference is that last year's trade ensured the Braves would have a first basemen that was not a free agent at the end of the season. That isn't the case this year, as LaRoche's contract is up this year. This fact is the decider for me: The Kotchman-for-LaRoche deal was a dud for the Braves.

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