Boston Comings and Goings

Red Sox sign Mark Kotsay (1/1.5)

Given the recent signing of Rocco Baldelli, this seems like a rather smart move. Kotsay’s job description includes being the fifth outfield and reserve first baseman – same as last season – at the same time I do question why the Red Sox didn’t attempt and sign Eric Hinske instead. Kotsay’s offensive production has been decisively below average since 2004, and 2009 doesn’t expect to be any different. CHONE has Kotsay at -4.8 wRAA and Marcels at -11.1, although I would expect those numbers to be closer to average if Kotsay plays mostly against righties. Kotsay’s defensive ratings over the past few seasons haven’t been pretty either:

2006: -6.7
2007: -3.6
2008: -5.3

During that time Kotsay has played most of his games in the spacious Oakland Coliseum and Fenway Park, so it’s quite possible his defensive ratings are skewed, and The Fans Scouting Report still liked Kotsay. It’s odd to credit the durability factor to Mark Kotsay of all players, but his health has shown to be more sustainable than Baldelli’s, and that’s why he’s in this position.

The other end of Brad Penny and John Smoltz signing with the Red Sox has finally hit, as the two players DFA were claimed on waivers.

Padres claim Virgil Vasquez off waivers

Vasquez is a righty who spent most of last season in Triple-A. Vasquez produced decent strikeout rates and is a control pitcher, walking less than 2.10 per nine, but yields too many homeruns. In 16.6 innings for the Tigers Vasquez allowed seven homeruns. As someone who sits in the low 90’s yet still uses his fastball more than half of the time, Vasquez is prone to leaving pitches over the plate and promptly watching them fly into the stands. Naturally, that makes him a fit for Petco Park.

Vasquez will join a congregation of fringe starter/reliever types in San Diego next season as the Padres attempt to gather as many lottery tickets as possible.

Rays claim Dewon Day off waivers

The Rays mark the third organization for Day since the season ended. Day spent 2008 with the Chicago White Sox, was waived, claimed by Boston, and now waived again. Day’s fastball sits in the low 90’s but can touch the mid-90’s but has issues locating. Day also throws a slider, and generates groundballs and strikeouts from it. The aforementioned Vasquez allowed 34 homeruns last season, Day has allowed about half of that during his career.

The Rays now have about 16 relief options heading to camp, where they all fall into place is anyone’s guess.

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You can add Saito to that list as well. Ahh, depth.