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.