Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kotchman traded for Teixiera

Casey is a Brave now. I'm hating this trade. I saw the headline on BTF "Teixiera traded for 2 players" and prayed "please don't let one be Kotchman". Well, that's one strike against the power of prayer as far as I'm concerned.

Teixiera is the better player. He's a gold glove first baseman and a more polished, more powerful hitter. I don't see him everyday like I do Kotchman, and I'm impressed enough by Casey to doubt that anyone is quite as good defender, but it's probably not a huge deal, Teixiera can field too.

Offensively, it's about a 20 run upgrade over a full season, which is the same as 7 runs from here to the end of September, and about 1 run in a playoff series. Thinking back to last October's failure, it's unlikely he would have made much a difference. Game 2 was the only close one, if Tex had hit a big bomb sometime during that game and K-Rod pitched Ramirez a little better protecting a lead, then the Angels would still have had to win 2 more games, including another against Josh Beckett.

It's not like the Angels have chronic playoff failures anyway, during Scioscia's tenure they have played 7 playoff series and won four of them.

I hate this trade for rational reasons. We get 2 months of Teixiera and then he's a free agent, so we either pay him a ridiculous sum of money (I'm sure he'll get 20+ million with the Yankees, Orioles, and maybe Red Sox bidding on him) or be left with a 1B hole to fill. He's a fine player but I just don't think he's worth that much. I'm confidant that given 20 million less whatever Kotchman makes in arbitration, I could find a way to improve the team that has more impact. Kotchman has 3 years left of being a good player at a bargain price. I don't think the Angels properly valued how much that is worth.

I hate it for emotional reasons. Kotchman's father is a scout and minor league manager for the team. We drafted Casey, and watched him climb the ladder, developing from a high school kid with soft hands and a sweet swing to a solid major league regular, with some impressive batting averages along the way in the Angel minor league hitters parks. There's something really cool about homegrown players. Sure, players aren't going to stay forever but some teams don't even draft their best prospects, they trade for them, using other prospects they developed and deal before they play 4 seasons. I'm glad my team doesn't usually operate that way.

My daughter's favorite player is/was Kotchman. She's only 3 1/2 months old, so it's kind of a joke. Someone asked, when seeing pictures of me feeding and taking care of her while watching the Angels games in her Angel T-shirt, who her favorite player was. Kotchman had the game-winning hit the night before, so he sprung to mind, and it's stuck. Now she'll have to pick a new favorite player or (shudder) become a Braves fan.

At least if Teixiera leaves, we'll get 2 draft picks. Who's on first for 2009? Kendry Morales hasn't quite developed enough, though he may get a shot. Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez were/are shortstops, but the way they are hitting at AAA lately one of them might have enough bat for first. Or there's always options in the free agent market.

I should adjust soon and start rooting for Teixiera, and if he really is the single difference to make the Angels win the world series, then Tony Reagins will have done good. But I'm going to miss Casey Kotchman. Maybe the Angels will bring him back when he's 38 and can't play any more, like they did with Wally Joyner.

20 Comments:

At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Dude, wow. I had no idea you had so much passion for Kotchman. As anemic as the Angels offense has been this year, I would have expected you to be happy to get Big Tex for what amounts to Power-Lacking firstbaseman who has struggled to get on base this year and a non-prospect pitcher. Frankly, I am more surprised the Braves made the trade. Yes, Kotchman will be cheap for the next couple of seasons, but so what? I have to imagine they could have gotten better value for Teixiera. Heck, the draft pick compensation for letting him walk may have been comparable. But I understand the emotional piece of it. If you like a guy, then he's your guy. That part of it is never fun. So, go ahead and mourn your loss for tonight... But quit looking at this as a bummer. Be excited! The Angels are trying to make a move. They HAVE clearly upgraded at 1st base. They HAVE clearly acquired a much needed, superior bat in the lineup. They are clearly intent on winning today. Be thankful your team is in a position to make a move like this rather than being on the other end of it. After all, at least it ain't 1991. Oh and hopefully Big Tex doesn't turn out to be Glenn Davis.

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Chone Smith said...

I don't think Kotchman gets nearly enough credit. He's worth 10 runs a year above an average 1B on defense, he's only 25 and not exactly powerless. His last Angel game included a game-winning homer, his 12th, so that puts him on pace to get about 18 on the year.

Given his build and current doubles power he just seems like a really good bet to add homers as he matures, maybe a few seasons of 25-30.

He's not as good today as Teixiera, but I think when he's 28 he'll be as good as Tex will at age 31. Pretty much what the Angels did was take the equivalent of a payday loan. They get $500 today and lose the right to their full paycheck of $750 in two weeks.

Yeah, it's worth it if that money right now is what you need for a World Series ticket. I just wish they could be going to the WS with Kotchman.

 
At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

World Series or no, it's a trade that makes sense. You may be right about Kotchman, but it's not like they mortgaged their future. Like I said, I am more surprised the Braves didn't rape another team for much more.

Even if they don't make or win the World Series it is still a trade they needed to make and at a price too good to pass up. Yes, in 3 years Kotchman could evolve into a 25-30 HR hitter. But who is to say the Angels will still be competing then? Advance the rest of the team 3 years and how would it look?

Again, if you like the guy, then fine, I get it. I always hate seeing one of my favorite players get traded. But this trade makes a lot of sense. Plus firstbasemen are pretty easy to replace.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger AC said...

I thought Kotchman played lousy this year. He turned into hacker deluxe with mediocre power. I was really optimistic this season after Casey put a nice season together last year, but if Kotchman was putting up a .370+ OBP this season, I don't think the trade happens.

 
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