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Sumoza? I hardly knew ya.

The Sox just picked up outfielder MarkKotsay, 32, from the Braves for young outfielder Luis Sumoza, 20. With J.D. Drew going on the 15-Day D.L. yesterday - retroactive to Aug. 18 which means he should be available again early next week - the Sox needed some insurance. Not coincidentally, J.D. will be off the D.L. just as the major league rosters expand, which means Bay, Ellsbury, Crisp, Drew, Kotsay (and Bailey?) can all remain on the team for the last month.

Given this move, it seems the Sox are genuinely concerned the Drew might be hampered by his back all year and didn't want to be caught flat-footed. Kotsay is a centerfielder by trade, but I expect he'll play rightfield as he has a very good arm. He is an effective hitter with a .289 BA, .340 OBP, and .418 slugging. He has limited power but he's definitely an improvement over Crisp (or Bailey). Fun fact: the lefthanded hitting Kotsay was once a lights-out righthanded closer, guiding Cal State-Fullerton to the 1995 College World Series title as the tournament's "Most Outstanding Player."

Here's the downside: the Sox gave up a raw talent for a decent but unspectacular major leaguer. Sumoza - who hit a homer earlier this year for the Lowell Spinners in Burlington's Centennial Field against the hometown Lake Monsters - is a major power prospect in an organization lacking in pop. He was the league player of the week once and had an 18-game hitting streak this year.

I think I have a case of Bagwell-Anderson PTSD going on. Last year's trade of David Murphy - who might have won ROY this year if not for a recent injury - and Engel Beltre for the goggled one, has left me traumatized. Beltre might be a better prospect as indicated by his $600,000 signing bonus out of the D.R. while Sumoza received $200,000 in Venezuela - though I bet there are tons of factors in play here that I don't get, including the fact that the guy that signed Beltre has been fired for some very very shady dealings. I digress. Basically, I hate to lose a big time talent for a rent-a-player.

That said, it's a good trade.


Smitch said…
I like the trade too. Kotsay's a pretty good player who fits our short-term needs nicely.

Of course, only time will tell whether it was worth it. It's interesting that the Gagne trade hasn't received more negative attention based on who we gave up, rather than solely how much Gagne ended up sucking (which was a lot, so I guess it doesn't really even matter). In general, I think teams like the Sox can better afford these kinds of trades, since we can always fill the holes left by traded prospects by signing proven players in the free agent market. Which makes it all the more impressive that our current team relies so heavily on products of our own farm system. I'm rambling.

Lastly, Kotsay was a RIGHT-handed reliever? That's really weird.

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