LaRoche, once a highly touted Braves prospect, is now a below average defensive first baseman with a below average corner infield stick. As for the prospects that the Sox sent in the other direction, I could give a shit about their system, so here is a report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy:
Signed out of Venezuela in July 2003, Diaz has big league potential as a defense oriented shortstop, thanks to plus hands, instincts, range and arm strength. The 22- year-old is not fast or aggressive on the basepaths, though, and his bat projects to be a bit light for a regular role. A righthanded batter, Diaz was hitting .253/.309/.310 in 277 at-bats for Portland, showing the lack of patience (21 walks, 60 strikeouts) and power (14 doubles, one triple) that have been constants during his six-year pro career.Ok, so I wanted to beef up my post - kiss my ass. In reading all of this, it looks like the Sox traded two players with the potential to suck at the Major League level for one that already does. Nice work. I guess they are banking that Ritalin isn't on the PED list.
A 6-foot-5 righthander lauded for his makeup, Strickland had touched 94 mph in his last two starts for low Class A Greenville, where he was 5-4, 3.46 in 18 games (12 starts). He generally sits in the 88-92 mph range and locates his fastball down in the zone. Strickland's secondary stuff needs refinement, and he lacks a swing and miss pitch, as evidenced by his strikeout (51) and walk (13) totals over 83 innings for the Drive. On the plus side, his fastball command gives him a chance of developing into a big league reliever. The Red Sox selected Strickland in the 18th round of the 2007 draft, taking him from Pike County High in Zebulon, Ga.