Found February 02, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
CLEVELAND (AP) -- After exploring other options and coming up empty this winter, the Cleveland Indians may have finally found their new first baseman: Casey Kotchman.
The team agreed to terms Thursday night on a one-year, 3 million contract with Kotchman, a free agent, two people familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is not expected to be announced until Friday. Kotchman can make an additional 1.75 million in performance bonuses, one of the persons said.
Kotchman batted a career-best .306 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs in a career-high 146 games for Tampa Bay last season. It was a breakout year for the 28-year-old, who signed a minor league contract with the Rays last January. Kotchman was one of only three AL First basemen -- Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and Boston's Adrian Gonzalez were the others -- to finish in the top 10 in both batting average and on-base percentage while appearing in at least 40 games at the position.
Kotchman is expected to compete for the Indians' starting job at first during training camp with Matt LaPorta and Russ Canzler, who signed with the club earlier this week.
LaPorta has been a major disappointment for the Indians, who made finding a quality hitter at first one of their offseason priorities. The team couldn't afford Prince Fielder, one of the gems of this year's free agent class, and the Indians were rejected by Carlos Pena, who spurned their one-year offer and re-signed with the Rays after a year with the Chicago Cubs.
Kotchman, a solid hitter and superb fielder, could be their answer.
Because LaPorta still has a minor league option, it's possible he could begin next seasons at Triple-A Columbus. Kotchman also has a much better glove, another plus in his favor to win the starting job.
Kotchman bats left-handed and is a career. 268 hitter with 59 homers in eight seasons with the Angels, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Tampa Bay.
His career .998 fielding percentage is the highest in major league history among first basemen with at least 700 games at the position.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Cleveland Indians completed their quest to land a new first baseman Thursday, reaching agreement with free agent Casey Kotchman on a one-year contract, according to a major-league source.
Kotchman, who turns 29 on Feb. 22, spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .306/378/.422 with 10 homers and 48 RBI in 563 plate appearances.
One reason Kotchman appealed to the...
The Cleveland Indians signed first baseman Casey Kotchman to a one-year contract Thursday.
The deal is worth $3 million for the 28-year-old Kotchman, who batted a career-high .306 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
A strong defensive player, the left-handed hitting Kotchman appeared in a career-high 146 games last season.
He has a lifetime batting...
Two people familiar with the talks say the Cleveland Indians have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Kotchman, who batted a career-best .306 for Tampa Bay last season, will make $3 million this season, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. Kotchman can make an additional $1.75...
The Cleveland Indians finally addressed their hole at first base yesterday when they signed free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman. What a difference a year makes. No one would have taken that opening sentence seriously a year ago, but Kotchman experienced something of a renaissance last season in Tampa Bay.
Kotchman returned from the baseball scrapheap to post a .306...
The quest is over! And now we can finally get on with our lives. I wrote about the Indians search for an extra bat for months, and it has finally come to an end.
Two days ago, I flew back home from a business trip. Walking towards baggage claim, I saw a man from a limo company holding up a sign that said “Kotchman.” I then tweeted the following:
24 hours later, Casey Kotchman...
It’s no secret that the Indians have been disappointed in Matt LaPorta‘s production and development, and today they took a step towards replacing him at first base. Jon Heyman reports that Cleveland will sign Casey Kotchman to what I presume is a one- or two-year contract.
Kotchman has been the butt of many jokes over the last few seasons, which tends to happen when you’re...
The Indians have officially added first baseman Casey Kotchman to their ever-changing roster.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Two people familiar with the talks say the Cleveland Indians have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Two people familiar with the talks say the Cleveland Indians have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, who batted a career-best .306 for Tampa Bay last season, will make $3 million this season, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.
Casey Kotchman, who hit a career-high .306 last season with the Tampa Bay Rays, accepted a one-year, $3 million deal Thursday from the Indians.
When Carlos Pena signed with the Rays last week, the message was clear that Casey Kotchman would be playing elsewhere this season.
Note: This Indians argument occured earlier this week, before the Casey Kotchman signing. Please disregard all nonsense involving Matt LaPorta as a first baseman. For a more recent outlook on the firstbase situation, check here.
Joe: Last week we discussed the state of the Indians outfield going into Spring Traning. This week we'll take on the infield. Let's start with the...