If the Yankees are in the market for a bat, then they need to look no further than the team they’re currently playing. Underneath the hot Arizona sun lies a very attractive option. Ladies and gentlemen, the Yankees should trade for DBacks 1B Adam LaRoche and slot him in the DH spot.

Here’s why it makes sense:

1. The Yankees could use an offensive boost. Heading into Tuesday’s game, they trailed Boston in runs per game, wOBA, ISO, and OPS.

2. On June 17th, Girardi stated that he had no idea when Nick Johnson would even pick up a bat.

3. LaRoche is a proven quality major league hitter. Look at the numbers he’s registered during his six+ year career:

- .272/.343/.490
- .353 wOBA
- 115 OPS+
- 116 wRC+
- .850 OPS versus RHP, .766 OPS versus LHP

4. He’s a notorious 2nd half hitter, so the timing of the trade could be very good (if you believe in 1H / 2H patterns). Check out his monthly splits.

Split G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
April/March 150 582 .211 .304 .396 .701
May 183 708 .257 .332 .449 .782
June 146 563 .266 .331 .454 .785
July 128 500 .296 .353 .556 .908
August 143 561 .310 .384 .549 .933
Sept/Oct 154 585 .302 .358 .550 .908
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/22/2010.


5. For you SABR-projection heads, ZiPS has him at a .376 wOBA for the rest of the season.

6. He’s likely very available. Arizona is not making the playoffs, and GM Josh Byrnes has indicated he’s open to selling. Even LaRoche himself thinks there’s a good chance he’ll be traded:

“We’re underachieving as a team,” LaRoche said. “When that happens, everybody knows — with the exception of maybe one or two guys — that you’re being shopped around. That’s how teams rebuild and make things happen down the road. Regardless of what your numbers are, as a team, if you’re not going getting the job done, guys will get traded. That’s baseball.

7. He has a contract that doesn’t give Arizona much leverage.

According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, LaRoche is only signed through this season ($6 mil) and has a mutual option for 2011. If Arizona does not trade him, he could walk. Thus, the cost of trade should not be prohibitive.

There are many reasons why a trade for Adam LaRoche is a compelling and realistic option for the Yankees. It could only benefit the team to add a bat of his caliber.

Brian Cashman
We’d like Cashman to make a raid in the desert.

*Props to Vizzini and Marshall Seymour for also contributing to this post.