Indians Sign Casey Kotchman

The Indians announced that they have signed Casey Kotchman to a one-year contract. Casey Close of Excel Sports Management represents the first baseman, who will earn $3MM in 2012.

Kotchman signed a minor league deal with the Rays about a year ago, and posted an unexpectedly strong .306/.378/.422 line in 563 plate appearances. Kotchman, who turns 29 this month, is a ground ball hitter who had 36 extra base hits in 2011. UZR suggests he is an above-average defensive first baseman. He ranked 36th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents entering the offseason.

The right-handed hitting Matt LaPorta and the switch-hitting Carlos Santana had been projected to share time at first base in Cleveland this year. Kotchman, who bats from the left side, now figures to get most plate appearances against right-handers and Santana may still see time at first against left-handers.

Corner infielder/outfielder Shelley Duncan is out of options, while Laporta has options remaining, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. This could play into the team's decision process between now and Opening Day. The Indians acquired another first base option, Russ Canzler, earlier this week. 

The first base market has settled in recent weeks, with Kotchman, Carlos Pena and Prince Fielder all finding new teams. Derrek Lee is one remaining free agent first base option, but it's unclear whether he'll play in 2012.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first tweeted news of the agreement, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer adding the terms of the deal (Twitter links).


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53 Comments on "Indians Sign Casey Kotchman"


Member
mike melusky
3 years 5 months ago

Orioles could have really used him…

Member
Dan Mazzaro
3 years 5 months ago

they could use anybody..

Member
popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
3 years 5 months ago

Not VandenHurk

Member
Dan Mazzaro
3 years 5 months ago

they could use anybody..

Member
JacksTigers
3 years 5 months ago

Look out Fielder. Look out Hosmer. Look out Konerko. There’s a new sheriff in the AL Central.

Member
popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
3 years 5 months ago

Deputy Kotchman reporting for service

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Shed a tear for Justin Morneau. 

Member
Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

Poor Matt LaPorta. You know you’re bad when..

Member
Lastings
3 years 5 months ago

And to think, he was the staple of that Sabathia trade… Looks like it, may be all up to Brantley now to make something of that trade…

Member
Lastings
3 years 5 months ago

And to think, he was the staple of that Sabathia trade… Looks like it, may be all up to Brantley now to make something of that trade…

Member
popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
3 years 5 months ago

Your bad

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Um…

Member
UrkillingmeSmalls
3 years 5 months ago

Indians also got Rob Bryson, who looks like he could be a very good reliever. 

Member
Shawn Ryu
3 years 5 months ago

Good move if he came cheap, he was impressive with the Rays last season.

Member
Largebill
3 years 5 months ago

He batted an empty .300, only 11 homers. Waste of money to sign a free agent who isn’t an upgrade over what we’ve got.

Member
johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

Sad but true.. A super spray/line drive hitter when he was at his best.

Member
dpm21
3 years 5 months ago

Not an upgrade? Last time I checked a .300 BA is much better then LaPortas poor BA and defense. Platoon Kotchman with Santana and Canzler and first is dangerous.

Member
Dan Mazzaro
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t think anyone should say “dangerous” but we get the point

Member
dpm21
3 years 5 months ago

^this guy

Member
Dan Mazzaro
3 years 5 months ago

^this guy?

Member
Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

← This guy.

Member
$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

kotch will provide top notch defense and respectable offensive numbers. he is also one of the best persons in mlb.

Member
fxx3605
3 years 5 months ago

people. not persons. stop it. /s/

Member
vtadave
3 years 5 months ago

Pretty sure Kotchman is an upgrade over LaPorta.

Member
bigpat
3 years 5 months ago

Sadly he is a decent upgrade over LaPorta unless he finally delivers on all of that potential he was supposed to have.

Member
Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t see how the batting average is “empty” considering his OBP was .70 points higher (8.5% walk rate).  Now, taking exception with a 1B that can only hit 11 HRs, I can get on board with.