Friday, January 8, 2010

More MLB Moves

Here are some observations about some moves that have taken place in MLB over the last couple of days.

Boston Red Sox trade first baseman Casey Kotchman to the Seattle Mariners for infielder/outfielder Bill Hall and a player to be named later plus cash

I think this trade will be beneficial for all parties. Kotchman has been kind of the odd man out for the past year and a half. In July 2008, the Angels traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Mark Teixeira. Kotchman went from a pennant contender to an also ran. But he was still an everyday player.

Then this past July, the Braves traded Kotchman to the Boston Red Sox for Adam LaRoche. But with Kevin Youkilis and Victor Martinez rotating in and out of first base, Kotchman had little opportunity to play. Kotchman hit only .218 in 87 at bats with the Sox.

Since the Mariners have not seen fit to re-sign Russell Branyan, Kotchman becomes their everyday first baseman. While Kotchman doesn't have Branyan's power he is an upgrade on defense. Kotchman, who turns 27 next month, is also still a young player who is not yet in the prime of his career.

Bill Hall will be a valuable addition to the Red Sox. Hall split the 2009 season between the Mariners and the Milwaukee Brewers. He struggled at the plate last year hitting only .201 with 8 home runs and 36 RBI. This is a far cry from the Hall who in 2006 hit .270 with 35 home runs and 85 RBI while with the Brewers.

But the Red Sox aren't expecting 35 home runs from Hall. In fact, Hall will be a utility player. His versatility should come in handy as he can play all three outfield positions as well as second, short and third.

Outfielder Scott Podsednik signs one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals worth $1.75 million with an option for 2011

After missing a significant chunk of the 2007 and 2008 seasons due to injury, Podsednik had a nice year with the Chicago White Sox in 2009. Podsednik hit .304 and stole 30 bases. He's not the player he was in 2004-2005 but at less than $2 million the Royals are making a prudent investment in Podsednik.

Pitcher Brett Myers agrees to a one-year contract with the Houston Astros worth $5 million with an option for 2011

Myers has pitched his entire big league career with the Philadelphia Phillies. Although he did pitch in the 2009 World Series, Myers wasn't much of a factor in the Phillies success. He required hip surgery in late May and was limited to 18 appearances in the '09 campaign. Ten of those apperarances were starts and Myers was 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA.

Although he can work in relief look for Myers to be in a starting rotation that includes Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Brian Moehler and young Bud Norris. The problem with Myers is you never know what you're going to get from start to start. His recent injury problems also make his signing a gamble. But if need be he could go into a Houston bullpen which includes the likes of Matt Lindstrom and Brandon Lyon. That could be a formidable 7th, 8th and 9th inning tandem.

Infielder /outfielder Eric Hinske signs one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves worth $1.5 million

The main reason I believe the Braves signed Hinske is because he has been a good luck charm. Hinske has played in three consecutive World Series with three different teams (2007 Red Sox, 2008 Rays & 2009 Yankees.) Don Baylor is the only other major leaguer to pull off that feat (1986 Red Sox, 1987 Twins & 1988 Athletics.)

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