The Indians made one of their most significant moves of the offseason yesterday signing Casey Kotchman to a one-year, $3MM contract. GM Chris Antonetti explained the deal this morning and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com have the details:
- Antonetti said the Indians are still working to create 40-man roster space for Kotchman, Hoynes tweets. The Indians were in on Kotchman last offseason, Bastian tweets.
- Matt LaPorta will have the chance to win the first base job in Spring Training, but the Indians intend for him to play every day, Hoynes tweets. Bastian suggests LaPorta, who has options remaining, will likely open the season in Triple-A (Twitter link).
- Asdrubal Cabrera is in Cleveland and the team is discussing a multiyear deal with the shortstop, Antonetti said, according to Hoynes. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined a possible extension for Cabrera about a month ago, suggesting that a four-year, $27MM contract could work for both sides. Cabrera asked for $5.2MM through arbitration and the Indians offered $3.75MM.
Laporta has been a big disappiontment, mabe Kotchman will wake him up HE WAS PART OF THE CC DEAL.
Why would Kotchman wake anyone up is it because he is a real power house mashing home run after home run LOL.
Kotchman was like usual the last man standing in a position that the indians were looking to fill, even Baltimore the only other team bidding on him would not give him a major league contract.
IMHO the indians could have waited right up until the Start of Spring training and Kotchman most like would have come in on a Spring invite, he is nothing more than a defensive guy with no power in his bat at all.
I think the Cabrera extension number is a bit low. He has averaged 2.78 WAR over the past four years. Assuming that continues, he should be getting closer to $7.7 million in his second arbitration year, since that represents 60% of his full market value of (2.78 * 4.5) $12.5 million. Conservatively assuming 3% salary inflation, and ignoring production increases (likely given his age), he could get $10.3 million next year, and then $13.25 or so as 28 year old free agent. I think the Jose Reyes contract will show that my numbers are extremely conservative estimates, since it is almost $4 less than Reyes AAV, and we are talking about three full seasons from now. Discount all of this back by four years, and I would think 4/$45 million (7.5, 10.3, 13.25, 13.65) is a more realistic estimate, considering that years 3 and 4 would buy out free agent time.
Cabrera is a solid defensive SS at a premium position, and if he is follows up 2011 with another 24 HR/92 RBI campaign, the Indians will be glad they signed him when they did, because they can kiss him good bye after that, he will become far too expensive IMO.
Cabrera is a below average SS. There is a good chance he wont make $4M this year. You are vastly overpaying him in arby. Yes the tribe could get lucky, but cabrera was terrible in 2010. Cabrera is too inconsistent to throw that kind of cash at.
Remember when LaPorta was the centerpiece prospect for the Indians in the Sabathia deal?
I hear all the time Cabrera is below average defensively. Whether or not that’s true range-wise, his baseball intangibles are obvious when he’s playing. He plays heads up defense for 27 outs. He’s aware of what’s going on on the diamond. His baseball instincts — where and whether to throw, when and whether to dive, whether barehanding is necessary to make a play, etc. — are better than anyone I’ve watched. Perhaps more importantly, he brings out the best in his teammates. You hear this kind of praise is thrown around and most of the time it’s BS, but its not when you’re talking about A-Cab.