Indians interested in Pena, Kotchman

It has been well-documented throughout this winter that the Indians have checked in on just about every available first baseman not named Prince Fielder. As spring approaches, two names high on Cleveland’s list are Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman.

On Thursday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Indians GM Chris Antonetti has approached ownership about potentially providing the necessary funds to afford the likes of Pena. The Scott Boras client is a coming off a season in which he slugged 28 homers and it is believed that he is seeking a multi-year deal.

The more realistic option might be Kotchman, who could improve the Tribe’s average, on-base percentage and strikeout rate. A year ago, the Indians whiffed 1,269 times, marking the most in team history and the fourth-highest total in American League history. Kotchman hit .306 with 66 strikeouts in 500 at-bats last season, while Pena hit .225 with 161 strikeouts in 493 ABs.

With only 10 homers a year ago, though, Kotchman obviously does not boast Pena’s power potential.

Pena netted a one-year, $10 million contract with the Cubs last offseason after hitting  .196/.325/.407 with 28 homers and 84 RBIs in 2010 with Tampa Bay. This past season with Chicago, he improved in batting average, OBP (.357) and SLG (.462), while offering his typically sound defense.

Another consideration is Cleveland’s current situation at first base. Regular catcher Carlos Santana (a switch hitter) figures to see some playing time at first — most likely against left-handed pitching. While the general thought has been that the Indians could benefit from a power-hitting, right-handed first baseman (to replace a struggling Matt LaPorta), Cleveland’s decision-makers believe a lefty-hitting first baseman such as Pena or Kotchman might make more sense.

On days when Santana does not start behind the plate, the Indians project to feature catcher Lou Marson, who hit .297 against left-handed pitching last year. So having Santana (1B) and Marson (C) in against a left-hander and a lefty-hitting first baseman paired with Santana (C) against right-handers is something the Tribe is evaluating.

One unanswered question is whether Pena or Kotchman would be willing to accept that kind of playing time situation. It seems more likely that Kotchman — coming off a year in which he earned $750,000 after signing a Minor League contract with the Rays — would be open to a platoon-like scenario. Kotchman is also more affordable for an Indians team that does not have much financial flexibility.

If the Indians do not add a first baseman before Opening Day, the team’s top  internal candidates currently consist of LaPorta (who has a Minor League option remaining) and Shelley Duncan (who is out of options).

–JB

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The Dolans are a joke. Until they sell this team to someone can afford to spend some money it’s just more of the same.

It’s just a big joke. Until the Dolans sell this team to someone with money to spend it’s just more of the same. Please sell this team to someone that doesn’t make a dime squeal. If you can’t afford to spend the money then sell the team to someone that can. The Dolans have ruined this team.

I was at the White Sox game this year when he hit his only homer of the season, seialng the Rays win. How crazy it is that he’d be back in Durham already.I really do hope he accepts the assignment, mashes incredibly, and then comes up in 2 weeks to a month and goes Pumpkin all over the AL East.

That really captures the spirit of it. Thanks for posting.

I enjoyed redniag your informative article and considering the points you made. You make a lot of sense. This is an excellent piece of writing. Thanks for sharing this so we can all read it.

Liability policies are sold in states that have a fault Quotes Chimp of redressing damages caused by auto accidents as well as in no-fault states, which modify this aspect of the auto insurance policy (see Chapters 8 and 9).

How is it possible the Indians bluntly offered Carlos Beltran a 2/21 M deal, or give or take, yet they need the Dolan’s permission to offer Carlos Pena a deal roughly the same amount? (2/21M). Make the deal, Carlos is a bigger Power threat, and he can give the Indians 30 HRs for a single season. He doesn’t even need to be in a “platoon” situation, still give him 500 ABS and have him DH on ocassion.

I don’t understand the constant pressure on LaPorta for 1st base performance. He was a very successful outfielder and an awesome power hitter for our minor league team here in WV not that long ago.

I think when Cork was positing that the new 2% was going to be exnlpitiog market ineffeciencies on guys like Manny is when I started to lose my head. Look, guys who use PEDs aren’t good teammates; they are effectively robbing a bank in broad daylight; without PEDs, how much of Manny’s $25M per year salary would have been paid to him from 2003-2010? This guy literally robbed hundreds of millions of dollars from other players guys who would have been MVPs or All-Stars but not for him. Unless you believe that say 75% of the outfielders were using (at some % of usage, I will concede the argument that it isn’t an advantage because the usage is so prevalent) and the evidence has never shown to be near that much, then the guys who use are thieves. Singing a convicted thief is about as bad a business decision as the 2% braintrust could have made; they may be lucky it only cost them 6 games, but it also cost them an oppotunity cost for the $8M they committed to these two clowns (I’m writing off Damon even though it is early because to me he was the loss leader in the package deal) that could have spent on say, Carlos Pena or Benoit or whoever else you want to sign. Putting the money is these types of guys should never be the Ray Way.

Be thankful you don’t have an anouencnr like John Sterling, who lets his cliches, repetitive descriptions, and overenthusiastic/anticipatory pre-calls get in the way of what are otherwise interesting and relaxing games. Nothing worse than assuming a ball has been hit out of the stadium or even worse, caught because your play-by-play man gets ahead of himself simply because he likes the way his calls sound. I’ve found myself listening to the visiting anouencnrs when the Yankees play a day game during the weekdays when I am at work.

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