Blog Entry

Boston bags Kotsay

Posted on: August 27, 2008 4:57 pm

Following the Manny Ramirez nonsense, the Tim Wakefield shoulder issue, the Josh Beckett numbness and J.D. Drew's back, things finally are beginning to break right for the Boston Red Sox.

Outfielder Mark Kotsay was a terrific acquisition Wednesday, and the road is beginning to take its toll on the Minnesota Twins for Boston's fallback October plan, the AL wild-card slot.

Kotsay is 32 with the back of a 42-year-old (or worse), but he's playing and he's good to go for now. He was hitting .289 with six homers and 37 RBI in 88 games for Atlanta. With Drew's status dicey for the rest of the season, Kotsay is the perfect complement to Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay and Coco Crisp: An experienced hand who is battle-tested, having playoff experience with Oakland in 2006.

The Red Sox have been in the market for an outfielder since the Manny Ramirez fiasco, before Drew's back began acting up. San Diego's Brian Giles declined a trade to the Red Sox earlier this month for family reasons and because the Red Sox couldn't promise him anything more than an extra outfielder's role at the time. Giles wanted to play every day.

What's changed since then -- and increased the urgency for the Red Sox to acquire another outfielder -- is Drew's injury. Fortunately for the Red Sox, they didn't grant Crisp's desire to be traded this spring. Think how thin they'd be in the outfield if they had.

Not only does Kotsay know his way around the outfield, he's a solid guy to have in the clubhouse for a stretch run. Professional, committed, intelligent and no-nonsense (no Manny comments here, please).

So consider this another test passed for Boston as the Red Sox gallop toward another October. This isn't to grant them a playoff spot yet -- there are still many challenges ahead.

But the Red Sox are better today with Kotsay on their roster than they were yesterday. And thanks to Minnesota's four-game losing streak, the Red Sox have some breathing room (a 2 1/2-game lead) in the AL wild-card race.

This isn't a team that has given up on first place -- they trail Tampa Bay by only 3 1/2 games, and they still play Joe Maddon's club six times in September (three home, three away). A lot still can change.

But the way things are shaping up, the Red Sox have two chances to make the playoffs. And the percentages are rising. Minnesota should have won three of four over the weekend in Anaheim and could have swept the Angels. But the Twins lost the final two games of that series and the first two in Seattle this week.

Not a good way to begin a 14-game trip, and even more disheartening for the Twins after they started 2-0. Being that Ron Gardenhire's club has begun a stretch in which they play 24 of 30 on the road, as Yogi says, it's beginning to get late early.

Meantime, Boston has won five of seven, nine of 13 and life without Manny isn't looking as daunting as maybe it once did.

Likes: Colorado has won four in a row and has pulled to within six games of first-place Arizona in the NL West. You don't think the Rockies will stage another September miracle, do you? … Instant replay on boundary calls are fine, but if baseball officials ever look to expand replay, it'll be time to dig in and fight it. … Watching Randy Johnson pitch. … My Weber grill. … Gates barbecue sauce from Kansas City, right in my fridge and then on the chicken on the Weber grill.

Dislikes: Well, I was just saying yesterday how fun the Mets are to watch lately. Not so much after they blew a 7-0 lead to Philadelphia on Tuesday night while falling with a thud into second place in the NL East. … Florida's Hanley Ramirez with a glove. … Sure, I write a feature piece on Arizona this week and the Diamondbacks promptly go into the tank in San Diego. I hate it when teams don't cooperate. … Come on, Tropical Storm Gustav, let's skip right over New Orleans this time.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"When I think back on all the crap
"I learned in high school
"It's a wonder I can think at all
"And though my lack of education
"Hasn't hurt me none
"I can read the writing on the wall"

-- Paul Simon, Kodachrome


Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2008 9:29 pm

Boston bags Kotsay

The kid is named Luis Sumoza. Thanks for all the info, although I was making a comment on the lack of analysis, rather than a request for said analysis. Sumoza is supposed to have some pop and a little speed, along with solid defense. The report I read said he has real potential, but is very raw. But he's only 19, so he has plenty of time. Solid deal for the Braves, since they need to play Jordan Schafer some anyway.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2008 8:24 pm

Boston bags Kotsay

So true, but what do you expect.    Typical Northeast media bias.

At least it's better than when ESPN broke into live coverage to track Dice-K's plane as it approached Boston a few years ago.

The OF prospect is decent.   Good gap power, good OPS, but still very low in the system.  He is heading to A ball in Rome.

Good deal for ATL, who mailed it in months ago and weren't going to sign Kotsay anyway.


Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: August 27, 2008 7:24 pm

Boston bags Kotsay

Post-deadline waiver deals are often moves from non-contending teams to get rid of veteran/overpaid players. The Braves got basically nothing in return (unless the 19 year old they acquired turns out to be good in about 7 years) and Boston added depth to a depleted outfield. Kotsay will likely play a similar role to Bobby Kielty's a year ago. As for the Brave's side, I don't know the money details either but I can only assume the Sox will take on at least a portion of Kotsay's $7 million '08 salary, which would be the only reason I can see the Braves making this trade.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2008 6:40 pm

Boston bags Kotsay

The player they obtained was a short A prospect at the lowell spinners which is the lowest level of their farm system. I do know he is 19 but not much more than that myself

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2008 6:08 pm

Boston bags Kotsay

Solid piece from the Boston perspective, but the fact that not even a sentence was devoted to the Braves point of view or the prospect they recieved was dissapointing..a bit one sided.

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