Teixeira/Kotchman Swap: Day 2
My first reaction to the deal was frustration because the net gain in runs this year - or in a short series - is minimal. The team has a 12 game lead - they are going to make the playoffs. My immediate thoughts went to the fact that resigning Teixeira will be near impossible and then, "who starts at 1st base in 2009". Well, Kendry Morales is the answer to that question, like it or not. He is similar to Kotchman v. 2008. So there isn't a big drop offensively. Defensively, that is another story. But, this deal does help in 2008 - and if Teixeira blows up in the post-season he could be a HUGE difference. We'll see how this plays out in October/November. Because Kendry is able to emulate Kotchman in 2009 - this deal is really quite good. It is a win/win for the Halos. They get Teix now and aren't REQUIRED to resign him because they have an in-house replacement that is similar in production to the guy they traded for Teixeira.
What I appreciated about Kotchman was his eye and ability to draw a walk. I knew he had doubles power, but figured it would increase as he aged, and coupled with his good eye, he could hit 22-28 HR's a year. Well, Kotchman has regressed this year - I wrote a big post on this (specifically his BB rate) last week on Halos Heaven.
As a few of my comrades from HH and other Angel blogs rightly pointed out that Kotch - when he is patient - has the ability to show good power. This year he is - for whatever reason - swinging earlier in the count and performing worse than last year. But, 2007 was a good year for a 24 year-old, especially when I considered that he would be progressing for a couple of years. If he is heading to an organization that respects plate discipline, maybe his BB rate can return to pre-2008 levels. If so, his development will continue upward. His BB rate this year is 4.7% of PA's. It was 10%+ last year. A few of us speculated that Mickey Hatcher might have finally caught up with him - along with GA. Hopefully a change of scenery and coaching will bring back that important part of Kotchman's game.
Anyway, here's to hoping that he rediscovers his ability to draw ball four in ATL and help the Braves for years to come. He is a class act and a stunning defensive first baseman.