Mark Kotsay/Brian Anderson Swapped

For the second time in a week the Boston Red Sox make a move with a player previously designated for assignment. This time they swap Mark Kotsay (and cash) to their brothers in stockings for Brian Anderson. On the surface, the deal is a bit confusing. The two are essentially equals – although Kotsay has a better bat – but Anderson is nearly seven years younger. Kenny Williams cooperated with Anderson’s request to be traded and really didn’t change his team’s outlook much in the process.

Anderson is a former first round pick from the University of Arizona with the coolest middle name in the majors (Nikola). The potential Anderson flashed in Triple-A as a 23-year-old in 2005 (.295/.360/.469) has never shone through at the major league level. The White Sox tried giving him the center field job back in 2006, but he never hit or fielded well enough to take it. Since his role has shifted from future starter to defensive sub and fourth outfielder. Through nearly 900 career plate appearances Anderson is hitting .225/.288/.364. Only 27, Anderson did flash some signs of power last season while hitting lefties pretty well. Maybe his future lies as a platoon player, though it’s hard to see the Red Sox splitting time with Jacoby Ellsbury or J.D. Drew.

Kotsay is what he is, a left-handed hitter with some defensive flexibility in the outfield and at first. I doubt he sees too much playing time so the fact that his best days are behind him shouldn’t matter too much. Ostensibly a replacement level player, he’ll fill Anderson’s shoes fine. Or, if Williams is feeling generous, he’ll use some of the cash to buy Kotsay his own pair of cleats.

With the deadline only a few days away, GMs will be hard-pressed to find a more generic trade.




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11 Responses to “Mark Kotsay/Brian Anderson Swapped”

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  1. Ryan M says:

    I don’t think this is confusing. It gets Pawtucket a real centerfielder with Van Every down for the year and Boston someone to put on the bench if Baldelli gets injured. It gives the Chicago a veteran team player who probably will hit a little better than .220. Makes sense to me.

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  2. JD says:

    Another bad trade for the White Sox. Exactly what does Kotsay provide? He can’t play the outfield anymore. He hasn’t been good since 2004, and recently he’s been downright terrible. Over the past four years he’s been a replacement level player.

    I guess he can back up Konerko at first, but Josh Fields is already doing that. And I guess he can play the outfield. The Sox did put Griffey in center last year, so Kenny Williams clearly hates defense and wishes horrible death upon it.

    Meh. Red Sox get a reclamation project for nothing. White Sox get nothing for nothing.

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  3. KR says:

    Olise Claiborne Meredith III would disagree about “coolest middle name”.

    Or maybe it just seems cool when compared with “Olise”.

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  4. Joe R says:

    This is actually a good trade, Kotsay’s pretty much done at any position but 1st, and not hitting well anymore. With Anderson, they can at least keep him around in AAA. Essentially this deal saves the Red Sox are couple hundred thousand and frees a roster spot up; not exactly how championships are won, but logical.

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  5. Greg says:

    Kotsay has had a bad back for years and is not always available to play. He’s also been well below average in CF since 2004 posting declining UZR/150s of -4.6 in 2005, -7.5 in 2006, -8.6 in 2007, and -9.5 in 2008. His defense has deteriorated to the extent that the Red Sox only gave him 28 innings in CF this year in his age 33 season. Being that he is often injured, can’t hit and can’t field, he is not a good backup for a contender.

    Anderson will at least be available to play and will play good defense when he does play. He posted a career UZR/150 of +1.6 in CF. Anderson is also under team control having only 2.078 years of service time according to Cot’s. This looks like a clear win for the Red Sox as they take advantage of the difficult situation Kenny Williams was placed in by Anderson’s trade request.

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    • Joe R says:

      Exactly what I’m saying. At best, Red Sox have required a cheap 4th OF for nothing. At worst, they acquired nothing for nothing. The only thing Kotsay really offers over Anderson at this point is versatility, and even that’s debateable. I probably make too much of this since I’m a Red Sox fan, but I’m impressed in Theo’s ability to get ANYTHING for Kotsay.

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  6. Adam says:

    Russell Coltrane Martin begs to differ with the coolest middle name in the majors.

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  7. anon says:

    as would Clifton Phifer Lee.

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  8. Matt says:

    This trade is basically just crap for crap, that gives the White Sox some roster balance in order to make some more moves for this year (although this year’s team is looking increasingly like its not worth making a playoff push type trade for) and there is a very small chance that Brian Anderson somehow figures out how to hit a major league breaking ball and becomes a good 4th outfielder.

    I doubt it though. This trade is about as un-impact-full for both clubs as you’ll see.

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  9. radar says:

    The ChiSox needed a pinch hitter and Kotsay does that well. They needed a corner outfielder who could play defense well enough to get a spot start or two and Kotsay does that. Check out his UZR ratings, the guy still has a hose and must be respected by baserunners. Furthermore Fields is a miserable fielder at first base so if Konerko goes out for a pinch runner Kotsay just gives Guillen more options there as well.

    I do not think Anderson will ever hit major league pitching. He was given every chance to try. Boston gets a minor leaguer, Chicago gets a major league reserve. Win for Kenny Williams on a small scale.

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  10. DIY Makeup says:

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