Sunday, June 26, 2005

Kotsaying Goodbye

Editor's Note: I started this entry before Saturday's games, so some of my numbers may be a little off.

Mark Kotsay is one of the most valuable members on this 2005 club, but this team is in last place, seven games under .500, 10.5 games out of first place and nine games out of the Wild Card. So while our mighty A's are hot and playing their best ball of the year, they're still in pretty bad shape. And as well as they've been playing lately, I still don't think they're a playoff-caliber team. So is locking up a 29-year-old, defensive centerfielder really the smartest move?

It might be...if we didn't already have Kendall.

So I guess the REAL question is: Is tying up one third of the payroll on two thirty-somethings with little to no power really in the best interest of the club?

It might be...but I doubt it.

So the REALLY REAL question is: Is this new ownership group going to open up their pocketbooks and bump up the payroll so that Kotsay and Kendall don't make up one third of it?

Beats me.

But if they're not, I will fully support a trade of Kotsay. It'd suck losing him, but it'd suck even more if he opted out of his contract after this season and we only got draft picks in return. This team is THIS close to being REALLY good for the next five years. If Kotsay can gain us a couple Major League-ready youngsters, I say do it.
"What do we do about centerfield? Kotsay's defense out there has been invaluable."

--You
Well, we'd just throw Byrnes out there.

Just kidding. Byrnes sucks.

At this point in the season, I wouldn't be opposed to throwing Charles Thomas out there every day. Sure, we'd be making a significant downgrade both offensively and defensively, but Thomas is cheap and, at the very least, serviceable. And whenever he's been given the opportunity to play everyday, he's produced. So who's to say that that trend won't continue if he's given that opportunity with the big club?

Billy Beane gave up Tim Hudson for this guy. It'd be a major mistake to give up on him so quickly. And if he proves that he can't hit Major League pitching, we'd still have other options. And money to spend.

"Other options? OH REALLY?!?! Like who?"

--You again
Well, Swisher's an option. He's a little reckless, but he's experienced.

Another option would be Mike Cameron.

"Mike Cameron?!?! He makes more than Kotsay!! AND he's older than Kotsay!!!"

--You yet again
Gawddamn, you ask a lot of questions.

If Billy made a deal for Cameron in the off-season, he 1) wouldn't have to give up too much and 2) would get cash in the deal. Cameron's only under contract for through the 2006 season, so he'd also, more than likely, get some draft picks once Cameron became a free agent.

.....................AB....Avg....OBP....Slg%...OPS
Kotsay, 2003.........482. .266.. .343.. .384.. .727
Cameron, 2003........534. .253.. .344.. .431.. .775

Kotsay, 2004.........606. .314.. .370.. .459.. .829
Cameron, 2004........493. .231.. .319.. .479.. .798

Kotsay, 2005.........285. .274.. .331.. .389.. .720
Cameron, 2005........142. .296.. .402.. .535.. .937

Kotsay, Since 2002..1666. .292.. .358.. .435.. .793
Cameron, Since 2002.1572. .241.. .335.. .450.. .785

Cameron's a bonafide power hitter. His average might be too low and he might strike out too much, but you you know exactly what you're getting with him: Gold Golve-caliber defense, 25-30 homeruns and 80-90 RBI. He'd bring to the club something that it's sorely lacking: Power.

This year, at age 32, Mike Cameron is averaging a homerun every 23.67 AB's. That's better than Chavy (26.27 AB/HR). He'd most definitley stabilize the middle of the order.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I had to choose between three or four more years of Kotsay or just one year of Cameron, I'd choose Cameron. This isn't a knock on Kotsay. I think he's terrific. I just don't see him in the long-term plans.

In my perfect world, Kotsay would come out and say that he isn't going to opt out of his contract and we'd keep him for just one more year. However, I don't see that happening.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. "Buy low, sell high" is tried and true. That doesn't mean that it doesn't suck sometimes.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BUT I LOVE HIM!

You're right about netting little to no return if he opts out. I hate that. But I'd pay the man. We're still young and cheap. He's getting $7 mil next year based on his current contract, so we'd only be on the hook for one more year. Take away Ruby, Hatte and Dotel's numbers and we've got room to add a bat for '06.

He's the type of ballplayer we've lacked in the past. He's a good guy to have around with so many kids. One that can always be counted on. Hell, last year he was the only one producing down the stretch and he was playing on one leg. Plus, he catches everything. EVERYTHING.

Interesting that you pretend like someone else is asking the questions when you're really just talking to yourself.

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous smac said...

oh, that was me by the way. nw

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:49:00 AM  

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