Non-Tender Candidate: Kevin Kouzmanoff

At first glance, Kevin Kouzmanoff's 2010 numbers look like exactly what the Athletics must have expected when they acquired him from the Padres in January. His .256/.291/.404 slash line is nearly identical to 2009's .255/.302/.420, and his power numbers have remained fairly consistent for his entire career; in his three years in San Diego, Kouzmanoff hit 18, 23, and 18 homers, along with 30, 31, and 31 doubles. His totals in Oakland so far this year? 14 and 31. Throw in his best defensive season, according to UZR, and it would seem that the 29-year-old should have no worries about being tendered a contract this winter.

There are a few areas of concern though, that the Athletics will undoubtedly take into account. For one, Kouzmanoff has seen his OPS gradually decline since his rookie year, down to .696 this year from .786 in 2007. And while Oakland's Coliseum is hardly a hitter's park, presumably the team was hoping that getting away from Petco would help Kouzmanoff's offense a little. During his Padres years, Kouzmanoff's OPS was typically about 100 points higher on the road – this year, his home and road marks are both below .700.

The Athletics were willing to trade for Kouzmanoff and pay him $3.1MM for his first arbitration-eligible season. Given his impressive defensive performance and only a slight dip in offensive production, perhaps the A's will be happy to tender the third baseman a contract, even taking into account an arbitration raise. But as a starting corner infielder with a sub-.700 OPS, Kouzmanoff has to be considered a non-tender candidate heading into the offseason.

Do you expect Kouzmanoff to be non-tendered after the season? Click here to weigh in, and click here to view the results.


14 Responses to Non-Tender Candidate: Kevin Kouzmanoff Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Well I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Billy Beane would much rather have had Adrian Beltre than Kouzmanoff. Sheesh. He “almost” signd the A’s. The could have almost won the division if they had Beltre.

  2. baycommuter 5 years ago

    Would guess they tender. His defense has been superb, I don’t see them opening up third base to the likes of Jack Hannahan again, there’s no one ready in the minors to fill it. Agree BB really wants Beltre, but he turned them down last year and it would be hard to non-tender, wait for Beltre to make a decision and then get Kouz back if Beltre went elsewhere. Ultimately, they may move Grant Green to third, he’s less than two years away.

  3. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    @baycommuter.

    Grant Green is staying at Short because he is a shortstop but the A’s also have Stephen Parker who might be a top 50 MLB Prospect. He has tremendous potential and is not too far from being Major League ready. So maybe they can add someone like Wilson Betemit for the first 4 months of next season and hopefully Parker will be in AA or AAA by then, that way they can call him up.

    I can’t think of a better left side of the infield group of prospects than the ones the A’s have.

  4. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Can’t see Him getting much more than 3M on the market with his OBP problems, thought he does have one slick glove. What would be kind of a twist in the off season is if the A’s didn’t tender him, signed Beltre somehow and the Boston ended up bringing him into camp on a 1-1.5M type of contract in case Lowrie has some health issues, or to face LH pitchers and use as a defensive replacement in games Lowrie played in they they didn’t find anyone else to take over at 3B next season.

    • Kouz could probably get a starting job elsewhere, and for more money than what you are speculating. The 3B market is pretty bare in the coming off season.

      • johnsilver 5 years ago

        You are probably right on Kouz getting another job elsewhere. Twins even would probably be willing to offer him 3M or so if he does not get tindered, was just the irony of them switching 3B. Kouz just does nit at all with Boston’s long in the past patience at the plate plan and has never had the kind of power numbers to justify the low OBP and high K totals either, so not sure that Beane is an automatic to tender him this winter for that good glove alone.

        Not saying that a more friendly R/H hitting stadium couldn’t bump up some of his power numbers some, but he needs a 1/3 bump easy to start justifying any kind of serious increase in salary, or what Beane (or anyone) was/would supposedly offering Beltre last year on even a 1 year deal.

  5. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    If I were Billy Beane, I’d probably tender him a contract. The A’s are big on defense nowadays and Kouz. is good. Other than Beltre, there is no free agent that would be a significant upgrade over Kouz. offensively (unless A. Ramirez declines his option).

  6. Unless the A’s sign Beltre in the off season Kouz will be retained. Beane loves defense at third and he will take Kouz over what else is out there. Rumor has it the A’s might try Green at third but I don’t see Green starting above AA until midseason.

  7. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    The A’s best 3rd prospect is probably one of the top 5 3B Prospects in the minors, Stephen Parker. No way Green gets moved to 3rd.

    @John

  8. baycommuter 5 years ago

    SPAN, Farhan Zaidi was just quoted by scout.com as saying they’d have to look at Green’s position. (For those of you who don’t know, Zaidi is the director of baseball operations.)

  9. If the A’s don’t get any upgrade over Kouz, tener him a contract. Saved money to go more aggresively to an outfielder like Maggs or CC. But if they do sign Beltre, I hope it doesen’t end up as a bust. It’s a big pitcher’s park which will definetly keep Beltre away, and I think that’s why he declined them last season.

  10. Kouz stays. No other options for at least a year plus. He may even have a better season then this year since he is more use to things.

    I think they may play with Green over at 3rd as well as SS. Wouldn’t hurt. But like its been said, we have a potential star in the making over at 3rd in our system. But depth is always nice

    (Don’t forget BB may make some crazy move and keep Iwamura(sp?) or package Mazzaro for some hitter.)

  11. cubs223425 5 years ago

    I think he could be a better hitter, but he would probably have to leave that park. His defense will get him another contract, especially with how well Oakland pushed that style this year (no, they didn’t win, but look at the staff numbers).

    If, by some magic chance, he were let got, I think any team with a decent hitters park should take a look at him. I’d include the Cubs on that because of the poor defense that Ramirez plays. They could take the cheap route–sign Kouzmanoff and try to move Ramirez to 1B.

    But another thought is his position. Part of his non-tender talks is that he plays a position that is supposed to produce a solid bat. He’s listed at 6’1″ and 210 pounds. He’s not a small guy, but I think that with as well as he plays 3B, he could possibly handle 2B.

    His range at 3B has been pretty good these past 2 years (outstanding in 2010 at a +8.0), so he should give it a shot to try to get a better contract long-term.

  12. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    They probably need to keep Kouz around for at least another season. There just isn’t much to the 3rd base market right now. If they don’t want to do that, he’d be a great fit back with his original team-the Indians. They clearly need someone with experience to man 3rd base while Chisenhall moves up the ladder. Maybe the A’s and Indians could work a trade before the money is decided-let the Indians try to work out the contract.

    I know Kouz ain’t great, but he’s a great deal better than the three headed monster of Andy Marte, Jayson Nix, and Luis Valbuena. I’ve heard that KK can at least catch the ball. It would be a great help to their non strike out extreme contact pitching corps if their 3rd baseman actually, you know, caught the ball.

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