...Back to the Braves, for first baseman Casey Kotchman. I would have rather the Pirates got Kotchman for LaRoche than what they actually did get, but I'm also not sure I'm overly concerned about it. Kotchman was a top prospect with the Angels, but he has failed to improve and is now a young veteran, and probably only a marginal starter, at age 26. He's also about to enter his third year of arbitration, and he hasn't really been the same since leaving the Angels, where his dad was a coach. If he's lucky he becomes the next Wally Joyner, but I'd bet against that happening.
UPDATE from a comment I posted below: The players the Bucs got back for LaRoche are marginal prospects, at best. PECOTA sees some hope for Kotchman, comparing him to Todd Helton and a couple other good players. I don’t think Kotchman is eligible for free agency for two years after this one. So there’s some non-zero chance he finally breaks out in his age-27 season and then the Pirates can get something really good for him, as opposed to what they’re likely to get for LaRoche, which is almost nothing. I'd rather play Jeff Clement than Kotchman, but then the Pirates didn't have Clement when they made the LaRoche trade. It's probably not a big deal, but if I were the Pirates I might have considered taking a chance on Kotchman.