Don’t do it, Frank

Seriously, Mark Kotsay? He is absolutely the wrong type of player to acquire, injuries or no — a guy who was never a star, is now in his thirties, who lacks a single outstanding ability (so that there’s at least something he can do well even with diminished skills) and whose top ability, such as it is, is hitting for average.

I’m taking nominations for Mark Kotsay’s official Braves Journal Derogatory Nickname. Eventually we will decide in a poll. Here are some ideas:

  • Mark Rotsay
  • Mark Snotsay
  • Mark Kantplay
  • Mark Kolbsay
  • Mark Devilray

I’m sure you guys can do better.

118 thoughts on “Don’t do it, Frank”

  1. Mark Kantplay is pretty good…

    Also, the differences with how fans view Kotsay between this site and Chop-n-Change are hillarious. Everyone over there seems to love this trade, whereas the general consensus here is that it pretty much stinks.

  2. I found this on

    Gregor Blanco, Atlanta: The Braves outfielder finished second in the league with a .345 batting average in 229 at-bats with La Guaira. Blanco, who spent the summer with Triple-A Richmond, smacked four homers and drove in 18 runs in 62 games for the Tiburones.

    Makes the potential deal look worse.

  3. Blanco is never going to be more than a bench player, same with Anderson. Kotsay may not be great, but he has the potential to put up league average numbers and help the team.

    For a short-term pickup, I don’t mind it at all.

  4. He’s likely to put up crappy numbers. At least Blanco/Anderson won’t cost any $$$ or prospects.

  5. If it’s one of Prado, Thorman, or even Blanco, I’m fine with it. Prado seems like the most likely fit in my view.

    If it’s Devine, then it’s a bad, bad move. I mean, we’ve got like, what, 5 or 6 years of Devine left? The kid’s got game, and he’ll show it in a full ML season. And that for a guy who could potentially be useless…. No thanks. At this point, I think the As would be happy to just move him, so there’s no reason to give up any potential impact talent.

  6. But Kotsay at least brings a history of not putting up crappy major league numbers so there is a chance he will at least be able to post a .400 SLG, which the two people you just mentioned are incapable of.

    As for what the Braves give up, it’s all speculation at this point, but I doubt it will one, cost the Braves more than $4M (hardly a king’s ransom and the Braves supposedly have cash to spend), nor will it cost them a significant prospect. has a reporter saying the Braves will probably pay even less, probably $3M.

    Whoever the Braves gives up would have to be a pretty good prospect to make this look bad.

  7. Dreamscape,

    So did Raul Mondesi. Kotsay’s a singles-heavy hitter, anyway. I’d rather have Andreson or Blanco in center if I could really choose.

  8. I dunno. He was abhorrent last year and merely terrible the year before that. But if the trade is made I hope you’re right.

  9. Well, what do they care? Kotsay would only be a marginal improvement over Anderson or Blanco, so shouldn’t that mean they should be worried if it actually makes the Braves slightly better?

  10. I don’t think Kotsay is an improvement. I don’t think he’ll hit any better than Anderson — and I think very little of Anderson — and his defense is likely to be far worse.

  11. I agree. Kotsay is at least 2 years removed from being just decent. Why the heck did we trade for Anderson only to get an older broken down version of Anderson? Egads. This washed up veteran fetish for fill in starters and bench players is just plain weird.

  12. why are we even thinking about this. we need another injury prone bench warmer like we need a guy named pete orr.
    please don’t do this Frank.

    i vote for mark knoway

  13. They have to know something about Kotsay’s health that we don’t. I’ve have always been a fan of Kotsay’s. Obviously he isn’t what he was (which, admittedly, wasn’t that great), but if we gave up a non-impact prospect and got them to cover a good bit of his salary (leaving us on the hook for $3-4M), then this trade can be good. Anderson and Blanco are pretty much guaranteed to be below-average hitters; at least Kotsay could provide some defense offense and he’s still got a really good arm.

    All in all, I don’t think Atlanta is dumb enough to pursue this if he is as washed-up as people seem to think he is. We cheer for a pretty smart organization, fellas…

  14. If the prospect is Devine, then it’s stupid. Of course. But if the “prospect” is a fringe player like Prado, Thorman, etc. or a prospect whose upside won’t bring him to much anyway, then what’s the harm. It seems a little unnecessary to get worked up about a trade that we know very little about. We don’t know much salary we won’t be on the hook for, and we don’t know who were are giving up. Those are two very important pieces in determining whether or not the trade is a good one. For instance, if we gave up an A-ball “live arm” and only had to pay $2M, we’d love the trade. And honestly, the only reason we think it’s Devine is because some dumb San Fran paper said he was involved. What do they know? Not his handedness. Let’s just wait and see…

  15. Yeah, let me second Dreamscape. Kotsay at $3M still gives us flexibility. Cameron (who, by the way, just got nailed on PEDs; you wanna bet your 401k he’s gonna have a huge year?) is expensive, and a ridiculously volatile commodity. Patterson, I’m afraid, just flat-out sucks, and there’s nothing in his track record to contend otherwise. Like I said, Kotsay’s not bad if the terms are right.

  16. bad back plus center field equals really bad idea…if he were a free agent you could sign for a low base salary plus incentives, then i could see taking a risk. This is not the surefire way to shore up the center field issue.

  17. There are no sure fire options for CF right now. Mike Cameron, Corey Patterson, Mark Kotsay – question marks all of them. Cameron is probably the better of the three, but he doesn’t separate himself from this group and Kotsay will be the cheapest.

    Again, if the Braves give up Joey Devine, Brent Lillibridge, or something like that, this deal looks really stupid. But otherwise, I can’t get down on this deal.

  18. Cameron is a lot better than these other guys. He’s a better defensive player, by far, and he’s a better hitter. Yeah, yeah, low batting average, but the simple fact is that he’s had an OPS+ over 100 every year since 1999. Unlike Kotsay, he’s also a plus basestealer (Kotsay gets caught far too often).

  19. Defensively, you got me there. He’s a better defender, for sure. But I think offensively, his edge, isn’t all that much to write up. I wouldn’t have been bothered by having Cameron as a Brave, but I really don’t think it isn’t much of a big deal to go from Cameron to Kotsay or otherwise.

  20. Mike Cameron, 2005: .273 .342 .477
    Mike Cameron, 2006: .268 .355 .482
    Mike Cameron, 2007: .242 .328 .431

    Mark Kotsay, 2005: .280 .325 .421
    Mark Kotsay, 2006: .275 .332 .386
    Mark Kotsay, 2007: .214 .279 .296

    The difference is fairly immense.

    Baseball-Reference is apparently going down for maintenance “Saturday and Sunday Morning 2-5 AM”. I dont’ know if that’s going to effect us.

  21. Plus don’t forget Cameron played at Petco which is the worst hitter’s park ever pretty much.

  22. Seems like a pointless acquisition if it happens. Hopefully it won’t be for Devine although with the way Bobby hates to play him maybe there’s no real point in keeping Joey. The Braves should just go with what they have and see how it shakes out.

  23. Kotsay was a very good defensive CF and a decent hitter prior to his back issues. If they’re gone, there’s no reason to think he won’t post a decent line and play better-than-average ball.

    I’ll grant that’s a big “if”, but it’s those question marks that should make him get-able for a Prado or a Thorman.

    If we don’t trade Devine (or anyone who’s actually useful), I won’t have a problem with this at all.

  24. 17 — wow! joey devine’s left handed?!?! that explains a lot. i can think of a couple of situations where he might have wanted to let the batter know — “i’m not right handed” and then switched. heh heh.

    wouldn’t that be an even more extremely ridiculous situation then when kevin mench’s shoes were too small? “Gee coach, all we had were gloves for righties.”

    or, maybe that’s why bobby’s not used him at all — he’s been working on becoming ambidextrous. that would be valuable out of the pen. maybe that’s the new undervalued commodity for Beane — ambidextrous players.

    30 — so we’re looking for a CF who can’t hit AND gets caught stealing. so basically we want a more expensive willie harris?

  25. sorry guys… those weren’t even funny when i thought of them and yet i still wrote them.

  26. What a pathetic deal…Cameron is a much better player than Kotsay and 7 million should not have been out of reach.

    3 million for Kotsay is overpaying because he sucks and is probably as healthy as Mike Hampton and Mike Gonzalez…

  27. murph,
    funny or not the sad truth is bleeding from them…say Knoway to Knowplay!
    this message sponsored by friends of Cameron ’08

  28. What the few “pros” posting on this issue seem to lose track of is SPENDING THE MONEY WISELY.

    Example: Right now we have several guys in ar years that have proved themselves useful at least at the major league level. Why not put a $3 million bonus in front of Francoeur for a McCann type deal and take it off the option (otherwise first free agent) year. Then, if you need or decide to move him, you can. Meanwhile, you have closed a potential hole.

    Same process could be used on Moylan (the injury makes it a little scary) like this. He is major league minimum this year then possible super 2 then arb, arb, arb. The most he can get if he establishes himself as an 8th innng guy (he can’t close with the side arm thing I don’t think) is something like 400K, 1m, 1.2 m, 1.5 m, 2 m. Offer to guarantee him 5 years at 600K and two 2 million options. He can’t leave that kind of money on the table.

    Use payroll to help the team long term. The odds of any Kotsay deal doing that are too long to do. If we wanted to play roulette, we should have tried Mark Prior or somebody else.

  29. If it’s one of Prado, Thorman, or even Blanco, I’m fine with it. Prado seems like the most likely fit in my view.

    If it’s Devine, then it’s a bad, bad move. I mean, we’ve got like, what, 5 or 6 years of Devine left? The kid’s got game, and he’ll show it in a full ML season

    I agree. I’d like for it to be Prado, I’ve been advocating his trade so Bobby Cox won’t maybe, hopefully start another second base platoon.

    If it’s Devine, this trade is horrible. Why does this organization hate him so much? Remember when they sent him to the minors last season so they could call up Pete Orr?

  30. I don’t think it would have been smart to go into the year with Blanco and Anderson as our only options for center field. As long as he doesn’t cost us a good prospect, especially not Joey Devine, I think it’s a good deal given the lack of options that were on the table.

  31. Adding a third crappy option is not a solution to having only two. It is not even likely Kotsay is on Anderson’s level, and Anderson pretty much sucks while making nowhere near as much money. Color me unimpressed with Frank Wren.

  32. The whole Kotsay thing seems like a panic move to me. Seeing how Wren forgot he needed a centerfielder for…3 months or so.

  33. who knows what this deal will look like. If its Kotsay for $3-4 mil and a Prado in return, then it becomes a good move. Kotsay isnt uselss, it just depends on how his back holds up

  34. doesnt Kotsay have a strong arm? just looking at his career numbers, if he can stay healthy, we might actually get a steal. Esp. if his cost is $4mil or less

  35. Kotsay’s injuries have hurt his ability to produce at an effective level, but he can still be a major league caliber player who is capable of putting up league average numbers. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s something Anderson and Blanco can’t do. The Braves didn’t need some big time player for CF. They just needed someone to not hurt them. I think a lot of this venom is purely hot air.

  36. He hasn’t been league average in 3 years, and hasn’t even been close the last 2.

    I’d rather have Blanco or Anderson in CF, at least they might get better, and I’m confident both are better defensively. Kotsay is 32.

  37. Some are under the impression that if Schafer has a good year in the minors, he could get called up in July or August like Francouer. I’d be peeved if we paid $7 million for Cameron, who’s going to miss the first 25 game, only to replace him mid-January.

    $7 million for potentially 82 games (in this perfect universe in which Schafer is blessed by the baseball gods)? No thanks.

  38. A lot of this venom is based off of concern that this is a needless deal, Dreamscape. The view is simply that Kotsay can’t produce more than Anderson or Blanco would. With his last two seasons, I’d be inclined to agree with that.

    However, there is also the chance that he can be healthier and will be able to produce more than Anderson or Blanco would, which really wouldn’t take much. At the right price, I’d be willing to take that risk.

  39. “Adding a third crappy option is not a solution to having only two. It is not even likely Kotsay is on Anderson’s level, and Anderson pretty much sucks while making nowhere near as much money. Color me unimpressed with Frank Wren.”

    You gotta give something to get something. Why waste high-end prospects on a stop gap? If all we’re willing to offer is guys like Thorman on the trade block, what do you expect in return?

  40. The main concern for me is keeping Jordan Schafer in Mississippi and Richmond for the year to develop and putting Josh Anderson on the bench where he belongs. That’s why, if the price is right, I’d be willing to take the risk on Kotsay being able to hold the fort down.

  41. It’s a valid concern, Sam.

    On the Cameron front, why are we to assume the Braves knew they could have had him on an one-year pact? Maybe when the Braves talked to Cameron, if they did, he was still seeking a multi-year contract and the Braves, with reason considering his age and their minor league situation, said no. Cameron may have only recently decided to take a one-year contract and go back on the market next year.

  42. It would be great if Schafer can be in Atlanta by July. But Schafer is a prospect–just as Andy Marte was a great prospect–who has had one great minor league season. Yes, he may be our CF of the future–but neither his success nor the timetable which might reflect it are certainties.

    Adding Cameron was not without problems, but it would have it have given the Braves someone who could have played CF for a couple of seasons.

    I tend to agree with those who would have given Anderson/Blanco a chance before I would have wasted money and a prospect (including Prado)on Kotsay.

    Instead, the Braves have replaced Andruw with Mark Kotsay, making me wonder how serious Wrenn is about winning the division….

  43. It’s probably worth noting that no one was this excited about Cameron before we started talking about Kotsay.

    I have a feeling that if we had never discussed Kotsay, and had signed Cameron to the same deal the Brewers did, alot of you would be complaining “You have to give MIKE CAMERON a signing bonus?” and “What are you thinking, $10 million option next year?! Is Wren an idiot!” And someone would like posit “I think we could have had him for one year, $5 mil if we’d waited…”

  44. #67–I think that you will find that while there was no great excitement for Cameron, people did discuss Cameron, Patterson, DeJesus and other possible replacements in CF….

  45. Oops, my bad. I guess I shouldn’t have said: “No one hear even knew Cameron PLAYED Centerfield!”

  46. Stephen,

    Maybe so, but I still think the majority opinion would have been one of distaste no matter who Wren puts in center field.

  47. The people who hate this idea alternate between those who say “Anderson will be better than Kotsay” and those who say “How do we know Schafer will even become a big leaguer!”

    Kotsay is a big leaguer and that’s better than a minor leaguer. I don’t believe he’ll cost Joey Devine. If he costs that, then it has a chance to be a silly and stupid move.

    If it costs Gregor Blanco, then it makes perfect sense.

    I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with Mark Kotsay taking at-bats away from Josh Anderson. And that’s the question.

  48. Truthfully on paper the Kotsay deal IF it is for a Prado or Thorman isn’t all that bad of a risk. AND IF he can come close to 2005 production where he could at least hit harder than a girl he is an upgrade over Anderblanco.

    Unfortunately the bad smell/taste of Mondesi, Jordan still lingers. Kotsay’s offensive skills are centered on him being able to sustain a BA in the high .270s/low .280’s with a little power. Defensively he cannot be as good as his peak especially with a bad back.

    I like what Frank Wren has done this season. Not love mind you but like. But you can already tell he is going to be a very very conservative GM.

  49. jjschiller,

    I agree wholeheartedly. You don’t trade away one of your most talented veterans only to have a rookie replace him unless you’re being aggressive. ;)

  50. If, IF! (which we don’t know, as has been said), there is the opportunity to trade Joey Devine for Mark Kotsay and pay Kotsay $4 million, we should go back to the Red Sox and see if they like Devine for Coco Crisp, who is at $4.75 mil this year and $5.75 mil next.

    Crisp does do one thing extremely well, gold glove defense.

    Plus, I think Crisp would hit better outside of Boston. He was a good hitter back in Cleveland (.300 avg/.800 ops) not so very long ago. Even if he didn’t hit any better at all, he’d still hit better than Kotsay and blow away Kantplay’s defense.

  51. what would be the chances of getting Kotsay and $4 for Prado and another mid prospect. Then let Schafer come up around the break and trade Kotsay for something of value around the break if he produces in the 1st half. Or do we just hold onto him if he’s producing??

  52. I am not for the trade Cary. Crisp would cost us too much talent. Wren is rummaging through other teams waste bins looking for a little luck or lightening in a bottle. Kotsay fits that description.

    Sam, jj – the Renteria deal’s level of aggressiveness is in the eye of the beholder.

    In my view giving up a 30 something veteran, albeit an accomplished one, for a couple of just decent prospects, to clear salary and to give your rookie SS coming off of a .326 season the position isn’t very aggressive. Especially when you are 3 deep at SS. But again point of view.

    Aggressive would be to package:
    A high ceiling prospect – Schafer
    An MLB ready youngster – Escobar
    A potential league avg – pitcher – James
    And a throw in rookie – Morton
    And then see if the Orioles will bite and give you Bedard.

  53. hard to believe the braves stumbled into this desperation at a crucial position. they should’ve just paid andruw, batted him 8th and watch him catch everything that flies. oh well, i guess they had a secret plan, but i sure hope this isnt it. whats rowland office doing these days? omar moreno?? oh, nevermind

  54. On the Renteria trade. Point of view:
    Wow took some guts to trade away a OPS+ 125 shortstop.
    I have incredible depth at the position, I need salary room, he is 32 and bound to regress to the mean. Now is the best time to get something of value for him.

    It was such a done deal before the actual trade with EVERYONE predicting that it would happen that I just put this into the conservative move column. Bold and aggressive to me is a surprise really giving something up kind of move. Any way what the heck. just my opinion.

  55. I think it took some guts because I think that Yunel Escobar is gauranteed to have some growing pains next season.

  56. Johnny, I’d agree that Wren hasn’t set the world afire, but I liked the Renteria deal a lot, and I didn’t disapprove of the Acosta deal. JS was a very conservative GM in terms of what you’re talking about, but I don’t think it was a drawback.

  57. Unless Devine does plan on throwing left handed for the rest of his career this would be an awful trade for the Braves.

  58. Devine for Kotsay is a rip-off. Beane is breaking in a new GM and getting his revenge for the Tim Hudson trade all at the same time.

  59. “Devine for Kotsay is a rip-off”

    exactly and thats probably why a deal hasnt been made yet. Wren has been a GM before

  60. I want to add that DOB revealed why he is so happy about the idea of getting Kotsay — he used to cover the Marlins and likes the guy personally. But Kotsay still sucks.

  61. Smart kid.

    By David O’Brien

    January 12, 2008 5:11 PM | Link to this

    Before I forget, you guys would’ve fallen on the floor if you could have been there for this moment today. (I’m sure you’ll hear about it as the story makes the rounds). This little kid said in the microphone, over the P.A. system during a Chipper Q&A today: “The Mets suck (expletive)”

    Four words. Jaws on the floor, including Chipper’s.

  62. I’m pretty disappointed. I do think it’s best for Joey to go to another organization, and I was skeptical as to whether he’d ever reach his potential in this organization, but surely there was something better than Mark Kotsay we could have swapped him for. I hope Kotsay surprises me.

  63. DOB says it’s all but done: Kotsay for Devine.

    I hate this trade. Five-six years of Joey Devine for one of a hurt Kotsay?

  64. “UPDATE, 1-12-08 at 5:01pm: According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, an agreement is in place for the A’s to send Kotsay to the Braves for reliever Joey Devine. The A’s will also eat $5.325MM of Kotsay’s ’08 salary, leaving the Braves on the hook for only $2MM. Essentially Billy Beane bought Devine.”

  65. BTW, Sam, you’re going to need to explain to me how Wren is in a “classic Catch-22” situation. Sure seems like there were better options than trading good value for poor value.

  66. I dunno. We’ve had some luck with pitching reclamation projects. We all remember the dismal failures we’ve recently had to endure. Can anyone think of a position player that has come off of the scrap heap to produce as a Brave?

  67. If Beane was willing to pay over $5 million for Joey Devine, I wonder if he could have been the starting point for a Blanton deal…

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