Mariners Acquire Casey Kotchman

The Mariners officially acquired first baseman Casey Kotchman from the Red Sox for Bill Hall, a player to be named later, and cash.  Jason A. Churchill of Prospect Insider says the PTBNL will be a minor league catcher.  Churchill's colleague Chris Crawford first broke news of the Kotchman trade on Tuesday, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeting the Hall element later.

WEEI's Alex Speier explained that this trade was closely linked to Boston's Adrian Beltre signing, and allowed the Red Sox to add Beltre without raising their luxury tax payroll much.  The Mariners, meanwhile, have their regular first baseman and Russell Branyan replacement in Kotchman.  In recent years Kotchman's defense has been strong, his offense subpar.  He's arbitration-eligible this winter and figures to earn more than $3MM in 2010.


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196 Comments on "Mariners Acquire Casey Kotchman"


5 years 6 months ago

I’ll bet it’s cheap because Kotchman does not have any power. Where are the Mariners going to replace Branyan’s power?

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

That is what I was thinking – while I think Kotchman can be a pretty good 1B given full playing time, he probably won’t even get 20 HRs.

I guess they could get 25+ HRs from Lopez, but who exactly are there power threats after that? Not saying you can’t win without power, but it’d definitely help.

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

Oops, Bradley could very well hit 20+ as well. Still, he is very inconsistent. I think they could still use some power.

atlbraves312
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t know what happened to Kotchman. In 2005, he hit 7 HR’s in 125 AB’s which was 41 games. If he would had continue what he did in 05. He would hit 20+ HR’s with elite defense who can win GG’s every years.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Not sure if they care much about scoring runs anymore – seems like defense and defense alone is their concern. All their hitters (sans Bradley) are really floaters around the .330 average wOBA mark.

Slugger23
5 years 6 months ago

That would be a perfect fit…Haven’t thought of that kinda deal yet ..hmmm

Ichiroll
5 years 6 months ago

That would be awesome. Great defense, high OBP. Not really a power bat, but I’ll take it.

Mateo2914
5 years 6 months ago

Good idea, Sox should at least get a pretty decent prospect for him. Maybe this means that Lowell is staying in Boston as a DH/backup 1B, which is an amazing idea. Really liking this if it all plays out.

DickAlmighty
5 years 6 months ago

Why would the Sox get a “decent prospect” for Kotchman. The M’s know the Sox have no use for Kotch — they’ve got Beltre at 3B; Youk at 1B; and Lowell pulling down $12 million a year on the bench. Since the Sox are desparate to get rid of Kotch, the M’s have no reason to give up anything of value for him. My guess is the Sox get nothing other than the M’s agreeing to pay Kotch’s entire salary (and maybe a low-tier M’s prospect). Having Lowell as a backup DH/1B/3B isn’t so bad; except that he’s making $12 million, which is a lot for a bench player (unless you’re the Red Sox or the Yankees).

apap414
5 years 6 months ago

or the Mets, or Phillies, or Cubs, they could all afford it considering they had a higher payroll than the Red Sox last year.

DickAlmighty
5 years 6 months ago

Why would the Red Sox get a decent prospect for Kotchman?

The M’s know the Sox have nowhere to play Kotchman — they’ve got Beltre at 3B; they’ve got Youk at 1B; and Lowell’s immovable thanks to his $12M salary. The Red Sox won’t carry Kotchman (who will probably make over $4M this season after arbitration) as a backup corner infielder (that’s what Lowell’s for), so they’re only real options are (1) to dump Kotchman (in a trade) or (2) to release Kotchman (and pay his salary anyway).

Given that, the M’s have no reason to give up anything of value to get Kotchman. If the Sox demand a “decent prospect,” the M’s will simply walk away and wait for the Sox to cut Kotchman loose (or pickup someone else who will put up comparable numbers).

JB3
5 years 6 months ago

The Sox would not need to pay Kotchman’s salary if they released him. They could instead go through the arbitration process. By going through arbitration Kotchman would receive a non-guaranteed deal. The Sox could then cut him lose for baseball reasons (Lowell is better) and only be on the hook for 30 days of his salary depending on when they cut him.

DickAlmighty
5 years 6 months ago

Even if you are correct (and I think you are), this doesn’t change the main point of my message at all: The M’s have no reason to give up anything of value for Kotchman.

The Sox are not going to get back a piece they can flip for Adrian Gonzalez; they’re not even going to get back a piece that will help them in the near future. This is a dump trade (to free up a crowded roster at the corner-IF position). Even if the Sox can cut Kotch loose without paying his salary, that doesn’t mean the M’s will give up anything of value for him…

5 years 6 months ago

That’s a great way to get sued by the union. I know the Padres did that with someone a year or two ago and ended up paying the salary after a judge ruled that releasing them after the arbitration timetable did not leave enough time to find an equivalent job.

JB3
5 years 6 months ago

I hear you. I’m honestly not expecting the Sox to get anything solid in return for him. The best the the Sox will likely get out of the deal is deciding where he ends up (along with saving some small amount of money).

jpfinest
5 years 6 months ago

the m.s are going 2 give up somebody. they are not going to get him for free. its baseball not a handout. if the red sox was going to get max ramirez from the rangers for lowell, they are going 2 get something from the m’s.

JB3
5 years 6 months ago

You are correct, the Sox were going to get Max in exchange for Lowell and $9M. Lowell is a far better offensive player than, although his defense at this point is certainly suspect. That being said, the Rangers were only looking at Lowell for his bat and the fact of the matter is they would be receiving a better hitter at a smaller financial cost than Kotchman brings. The Sox will not get a significant piece in return for Kotchman, the best we can hope for is someone to replace the prospect we gave up for Hermedia.

And yes, this is coming from a Sox fan.

SullyLV.
5 years 6 months ago

Do you really think the Sox’s are going to keep a 12 million bench player,i really doubt
it.

Heyward_Homer
5 years 6 months ago

no way, they need power. They should sign LaRoche or something, Kotch is a great defender but come on

Phillip_Cannon
5 years 6 months ago

I absolutely agree. Laroche is just about as good on defense but actually can hit a ball. I have been thoroughly disappointed with Kotchman the year I had to suffer him being in Atlanta.

$1529282
5 years 6 months ago

I agree the M’s could use some more power, but to say LaRoche is “just about as good” with the glove as Kotchman isn’t close to true.

LaRoche UZR/150 over the past four seasons: -0.5, -8.1, 6.7, -3.3
Kotchman: 11.1, 5.3, 7.5, 20.3

If I were running the team, I’d have thought LaRoche would’ve been a better fit, but Jack Z seems willing to accept that he’s in a pitchers’ park and that he has to win with pitching, defense, and OBP rather than power. Gotta respect the man’s gameplan.

Plus, Kotch has shown some power in the past… he won’t hit 25+ home runs, but he could crank out 15 and I wouldn’t be shocked by any means.

pinkiepinkerton
5 years 6 months ago

I have to agree with this completely. Building a team on power is a recipe for failure in that ballpark. I really don’t even know if it’s necessary. OBP, speed, defense and fly ball pitching (that’s right…see Silva, Carlos if you think otherwise) will lead to a 95 win season.

I know it’s quite different, but have you ever tried playing video game baseball at Safeco? Your power threats turn into routine fly ball hitters. You have to go with high on-base, speed guys to run around the bases as there aren’t too many homers hit. I imagine success in real life mirrors this approach. Z certainly seems to think so.

Phillip_Cannon
5 years 6 months ago

When you raise those points you are right. I didnt realize Laroche had those defensive numbers in comparison. Also you are right about building that team on defense. I just have such a negative view of Kotchman because of the way he was acquired by the Braves. I suppose Im still sore over the Teixeira raping.

Manuelilito
5 years 6 months ago

It will be very interesting to watch the seattle mariners this year!

LTDm206
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t see how Beltre’s signing affects the need for Kotchman. The Sox will still need a bench corner infielder (assuming a Lowell trade).

gwells
5 years 6 months ago

if they deal kotchman, why would you still “assume” a lowell trade? lowell is difficult to trade, kotchman should be easy to trade.

DickAlmighty
5 years 6 months ago

You can’t really “assume” a Lowell trade.

The Rangers nixed a deal for Lowell because of his injury. And, Lowell’s contract makes him nearly impossible to move. (To get the Rangers to give up Max Ramirez for Lowell, the Red Sox had to offer to pay $9 million of Lowell’s $12 million salary.)

5 years 6 months ago

Decent offense, good D.
1 year/$2.885M contract is very affordable.
Good buy low candidate.

If I were Z I’d look into adding 1 more SP & reliever.

tjspring
5 years 6 months ago

Curious to know what it will cost. Two years ago he was traded almost straight across for Texiera, then last year traded almost straight across for Laroche. Why hasn’t he stuck anywhere? and is he much of an upgrade over Carp?

not_brooks
5 years 6 months ago

So who’s going to get suckered into giving Russell Branyan two years at some ridiculous price? And where does Adam LaRoche end up?

My guess: Giants sign Branyan for two, Orioles sign LaRoche for two plus an option.

rootman1010
5 years 6 months ago

orioles dont want to block 1st base prospect Snyder, laroche isn’t worth blocking a top prospect. i could see him signing 1 plus option, not two

not_brooks
5 years 6 months ago

Snyder’s solid, but certainly not a top prospect. Especially when you’re talking first base in the AL East.

Snyder has 15, maybe 20 homer pop and isn’t much of a defender. His bat would play much better if he had stuck with his original position, catcher, or maybe switched to the outfield. Of course, the catcher and outfield spots are all taken in Baltimore for the foreseeable future…

Anyways, as an O’s fan, I wouldn’t mind blocking Snyder with LaRoche, as I’d take LaRoche’s bat over Snyder’s any day of the week. And if the O’s sign LaRoche, he can keep first base warm for Brandon Waring, who’s got serious power and should be ready by late 2011. Snyder then becomes trade bait.

tjspring
5 years 6 months ago

Agreed, Branyan had a good year last year, but for the most part it was pretty flukey compared to his career, giving him a two year deal will more than likely be regretted. I’d guess the Kotchman deal is intended to buy the Ms a potential replacement in the event that Branyan doesn’t go for a 1+1 deal.

As an Ms fan, I wasn’t convinced last year that handing over the full time gig to Branyan was a good idea, and although it seemed to work when he was healthy, still not convinced it’s a good idea.

5 years 6 months ago

This would be another solid move by the Mariners. Kotchman has a lot of upside.I still think they should resign Branyan. He can play 3B, and has shown what he can do when he gets his AB’s. And mabey Figgans can play SS?1) Figgins SS2) Lopez 2B3) Ichiro RF4) Branyan 3B5) Griffey DH6) Kotchman 1B7) Bradley LF8) Gutierrez CF9) Johnson C

5 years 6 months ago

Jack Wilson will play SS.

5 years 6 months ago

No way Branyan plays 3rd

tjspring
5 years 6 months ago

Appreciate the effort, but seriously, why do folks insist on posting line-ups all the time? Everyone who comments is pretty in tune with personell.
Especially lineups with Ichiro batting 3rd, Jack Wilson (ummm…released shortly after signing a 2 year extension, I guess), Branyan at 3B?

Come on now.

S8P7W
5 years 6 months ago

There’s no way Branyan plays anywhere but 1B. And if they did get Branyan, their lineup would IMO be:

RF Ichiro
3B Figgins
LF Bradley
DH Branyan
2B Lopez
CF Gutierrez
1B Kotchman
SS Wilson
C Johnson

5 years 6 months ago

He used to be a 3rd basemen

S8P7W
5 years 6 months ago

But with age comes limited range. Plus he has back problems, so…

5 years 6 months ago

Figgins can play everywhere, but you guys have Jack Wilson. Ichiro is more of a lead off guy Jose Lopez is your power threat.

msfaninatl
5 years 6 months ago

Holy cow! I’m a Mariners fan livnig in Atlanta and I had the unfortunate experience of watching Kotchman play for the last year and a half. He is awful…end of story. Defense is pretty good (not as good as LaRoche who also was in Atlanta) but the bat is a double play waiting to happen and he is awful in the “clutch”. Not to mention my Grandmother runs twice as fast as Kotchman does and she’s passed away 20 years ago. This would be the first completely “awful” decision by Jack Z in my opinion. throw out all of the stats you guys look up on Kotchman…there’s nothing like watching a guy in person every day and trust me when I say he just adds one easy out to a batting order each time around. The only solid rope hits I ever saw him get was when there was nobody on base and the Braves were either leading by 10 or down by 10 and it was the 8th inning. Otherwise…he is like having a pitcher in our batting order.

gothamgator
5 years 6 months ago

not sure what games you were watching in Atl, but Kotchman may very well be the best defensive first bagger in the game… saying LaRoche plays better defense is just silly…

offense is nothing special, but im really interested to see how this amazing defense thats being built in Seattle works out…

gothamgator
5 years 6 months ago

not sure what games you were watching in Atl, but Kotchman may very well be the best defensive first bagger in the game… saying LaRoche plays better defense is just silly…

offense is nothing special, but im really interested to see how this amazing defense thats being built in Seattle works out…

bomberj11
5 years 6 months ago

I wonder what we’d get in return? Felix Hernandez? I can only dream………

DickAlmighty
5 years 6 months ago

I’m going with, uhh, nothing of value.

101andCounting
5 years 6 months ago

So that would make the Mariners’ lineup:

Moore – C
Kotchman – 1B
Lopez – 2B
Wilson – SS
Figgins – 3B
Bradley/Saunders – LF
Gutierrez – CF
Ichiro – RF
Griffey/Bradley – DH

I could see that working pretty well. It’s a lineup focused on defense and OBP with a lot of smaller power sources, rather than one guy who can mash 40 home runs. I would still try to resign Branyan instead, though, if I were Jack Z. Maybe he’s got something else up his sleeve… Maybe they try to acquire a catcher? I don’t think Moore will be able to replace Johjima’s production, but I guess we’ll see.

patsfanatic2010
5 years 6 months ago

I bow my head to the M’s this year, BY FAR the best offseason, and if they get Kotchman and they locked up F-Gut for cheap over 4 years. They are going to be a heck of a team to stand up to.

Single best move of the year. Getting rid of the most useless contract in baseball. Carlos Silva. At least they have a guy who can produce for that money now.

OhioSox
5 years 6 months ago

I’d rather trade Lowell than Kotchman if we could get rid of Lowells contract

johnsilver
5 years 6 months ago

Lowell can be moved in ST at the latest which is why this Kotchman moves is bewildering. He should be staying, along with Lowrie who can play 3B,SS and 2B and between them, they can cover the entire IF. Moving Kotchman is a mistake.

This is just to avoid paying any of the lusury tax.. Be like the NYY and pay a couple million like they did in 2004 and 7. Kotchman’s glove as a reserve for when Beltre gets hurt (he will) is worth it.

rootman1010
5 years 6 months ago

it would fit their defense-first approach pretty well. i think they are expecting some power to come from milton bradley.

1. ichiro rf
2. figgins 3b
3. gutierrez cf
4. lopez 2b
5. bradley lf
6. griffey jr. dh
7. kotchman 1b
8. wilson ss
9. moore c- do they sign another catcher or will moore plattoon with josh bard?

5 years 6 months ago

Don’t forget that Kotchman was traded for laroche

5 years 6 months ago

I guess this means Sox will hold onto Lowell and use him as a bench player spelling Papi, Youk and Beltre–also shows (by Beltre’s 1 year contract) that they intend on moving Youk over to 3rd next year and play prospect Lars Anderson (if he can hit better this year) at 1st…

5 years 6 months ago

I hope it is not going to cost the M’s to much. Hopefully a fringe prospect at best

gosawx
5 years 6 months ago

So does this mean Theo accepts the fact that they won’t save much, if any money, so the Red Sox are better off holding on to Lowell? Is there still a great chance that they try to deal him if they also trade Kotchman?

But back to the topic of the Mariners…wow, quite the offseason they’re having. I had a feeling they would be pushing 70-80 wins last year, but keeping that in place while adding Lee, Bradley, Figgins, and possibly Kotchman, I think the M’s will win the AL West for sure next year and might even win 90-95. Hats off to Jack Z, he’s done a hell of a job with that team.

BoSoxSam
5 years 6 months ago

I agree, the M’s are having a fantastic offseason. Bradley is the only risk, yet they got him by trading the most useless contract in carlos silva, plus he adds power. Heh, looking at what the M’s have done, and then what the Red Sox have done (cause I always turn every topic towards the Sox :P), they are creating very similar teams. Both are emphasizing defense and run prevention (although I think the M’s had their defense already well-set before this offseason, and the Sox have completely revamped), with strong pitching (although I personally don’t know who will be 4 and 5 for seattle..anyone good?) and less focus on guys with power. I will definitely be watching the M’s as well this season, they could be interesting. Seeing these two teams play each other could be exciting! 😀

gosawx
5 years 6 months ago

It looks like they’ll go with Rowland-Smith and Snell in the three and four spots. As for the fifth spot it wouldn’t surprise me if they went with a cheap, low-risk, high-reward type of rehab project. They do have that kid Cortes they got in their trade of Yuniesky, maybe he could win a job as the fifth starter if he impresses in ST.