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[1:15pm] BJ Upton and Hunter Pence are the two big outfielders that are still available. Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the Rays asking price for Upton is more reasonable than what the Astros are asking for Pence.

[7:30am] According to John Perrotto (via Twitter), the Pirates have Casey Kotchman on their short list of trade targets.

Jon Morosi suggests (via Twitter) that the Tigers may be in the mix for somebody as the Rays sent a scout to the Tigers single-A affiliate on Wednesday.

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9 Comments

  1. Tone says:

    I am down with trading Kotchman. Then they could bring up Leslie Anderson once and for all; been wanting to at least get a look at him in the Majors. He has been doing well lately and he seems to do pretty well vs lefties. At this point, fringe players like Kotch should be used as "sell high" commodities. Maybe the Pirates will give them another young relief arm or a good high A hitting prospect. Farnsworth has been falling back to Earth, get something for him too.

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    • LoLJFH says:

      Couldn't agree with you more on this thread!

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      • Alex says:

        Your logic makes ZERO sense. Again this is why you all are not major league GM's. Let's see.
        Leslie Anderson: Age 29. Zero major league experience. No plate discipline in the minors. Null power in the minors (.438 career slugging %). Mediocre defense.
        Casey Kotchman : Age 28. Tons of major league experience. Very good plate discipline. Null power in the majors. Amazing defense.

        So you are really calling Casey Kotchman a fringe major leaguer? Give me a break.

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        • Sarah says:

          I'm with Alex here (except the bit where he feels the need to insult those he disagrees with).

          It seems to me our depth at first base is 0. We tried Dan Johnson. If anyone in the organization thought Anderson had real promise we would have seen in by now. And Kotchman gives us great defense and someone who can knock out singles.

          The only argument for trading him now would be the assumption that he'll be too expensive to re-sign for next year, so we trade him to get a little something back. But on the other hand, why not see if we can sign him longer term, and look to up our power in some other position?

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          • LoLJFH says:

            Sarah - the need to power up other positions will come with a new hitting instructor. We have to make contact for hits and cut WAY down on K's and improve situational hitting before worrying about power. Probably never gonna find a power hitting ss or 2B, even C - those days are gone in MLB. Better plate sense, contact, smarter strike zone and approach at plate. Part of it is we are just so darned young and these guys haven't figured it out at the plate yet (swinging for fence, watch called 3rd, slow/delay swing for contact). Part of it is instruction, part is club philosophy, part is juvenile players (MLB seasoning), part is lack of true veteran leadership.

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        • LoLJFH says:

          Oh, sorry Mr. GM! I am not down with Leslie Anderson being called up but I am ok with trading Kotch was my intent. Prior to this year he was a serviceable hitter at best...until eye surgery this offseason (look at his stats). Don't forget he was relegated to Seattle last year and we got him on a minor league contract with an option - so yeah: fringe (until his breakout this season after eye surgery). He won't be here next year either way because we want more production from 1B and he is a FA probably cashing in. Remember he was in AAA because we had a supposed HR hitter in Johnson at first and he was called up only because of Manny and Johnson issues. So, sell "high", get some prospects. We would still need someone to play 1B the last 68 games. Maybe Zo at first but then we need either a ss or 2B depending on where Rodriguez plays. We are grossly thin at those positions until Beckham or Lee gets seasoned due to regression of Brignac and very low upside in Johnson. I don't think Desmond is the answer short or long term. If he was FO would have pulled the trigger by now.

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          • Alex says:

            So you want to cut down on strike outs by getting rid of one of our best contact guys and calling up Leslie Anderson who is basically Sean Rodriguez left handed. Also before you make a wall-o-text about how Casey Kotchman has been serviceable at best, you ought to look at his stats.

            2007: His first full year. He hit .296 with a .372 OBP and a .467 Slg (.840 OPS)

            2008: He was traded to Atl in the Texiera deal. He hit .287 with a .774 OPS for LAA. He struggled with Atl .237 and a .647 OPS in 43 ab

            2009: He was traded to Bos. He hit .282 with a .764 OPS for Atl and he struggled with Boston.

            2010: He was terrible.

            2011: He's been terrific.

            What you haven't taken into account are a few things obviously. He clearly doesn't like getting traded. We don't know specifically when his eye problems started. He turned 28 in February so he is in his prime. He is playing for his home town team. And his eyes are now healthy.

            I doubt he will cash in hitting what I assume will be around .300 - .310 with a .440-.450 slg %. He will probably want to stay here and the Rays will keep him. I bet they sign him to a 1-2 year deal at a 2-3 million per year. He plays superb defense which the Rays love. He works counts. He gets on base and he can hit for a good average. Unless the Rays get a top prospect there is nothing that says your first basemen has to hit 20+ hr's.

            He was a first round pick for a reason. He was traded for Mark Texiera for a reason. Until the Rays find a power hitting 1b I have no issues keeping Kotchman around for a few years.

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  2. LoLJFH says:

    Alex - all good points. A guy hitting .324 with 4 HR and 29 rbi is of minimal use to us, especiallly when he has finally been moved to 4 and 5 hole but can't produce....because he is virtually hitting with no one on base (plus the last 2 weeks he is batting .255 with 2 rbi's from the 4 and 5 hole?).

    So, is this 2007 Casey, 2008 ATL Casey, 2009 BOS Casey, 2010 SEA Casey or is THIS SEASON the real Casey Kotchman? Aside from 2007 all his stats are WAY up this year (if season ended now). So the question has to be asked: has he reached his plateau and will he fall off next year and if so, how far? Can we afford that if so as he does not have a steady track record. Trade or no trade he has tanked 2 of the last 3 second halfs (could be due to trade as you opine - and see my comment above about last 2 weeks if history repeats) and stunk all last year. I like the guy, I think he could be a nice addition for a while, but NOW seems to be his upside. I'm not saying we shop him, but if someone asks and offers something pretty decent you gotta think we'd give serious consideration.

    The only flaw with my argument as I see it is we really don't have a fallback plan for rest of season without him at 1B if we traded him.

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  3. Joe says:

    We should move quickly now. With Hunter Pence having one foot at the door but a HUGE price tag, we need to call the Phillies NOW and say we'll do it straight up for Brown or just the prospects.

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