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Report: Red Sox have shown interest in Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay

Jan 12, 2013, 5:12 PM EDT

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The Red Sox continue to negotiate with Mike Napoli and have reportedly checked in on the Nationals’ Michael Morse, but they are also considering some lower-profile options at first base.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox “have shown interest” in free agents Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay. However, nothing is “active” with either player.

Kotchman, who turns 30 in February, batted .229/.280/.333 with 12 home runs, 55 RBI and a .612 OPS in 142 games with the Indians last season. He had a brief stint with the Red Sox in 2009 after coming over from the Braves for Adam LaRoche. Overbay, who turns 36 later this month, batted .259/.331/.397 with two home runs, 10 RBI and a .727 OPS in 65 games last season between the Diamondbacks and Braves. Ideally, the Red Sox wouldn’t use them as anything more than a lefty bench bat and late-inning defensive replacement.

  1. themagicfanguy - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Forget that, go for Morse.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    The only thing that comes to mind when I see all of blogs about the Red Sox seeking someone to play 1st base is the Bud Abbot and Lou Costello baseball skit “Who’s On First”.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    FML

  4. John Follett - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Meh, working out something with Napoli still remains best option. Sox fans who don’t really watch baseball are chiming in with the “Go for Morse” talk but Morse strikes out too much and he’s a free agent following this season.

    Napoli deal gets done once he agrees to make 3rd year a mutual option.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Morse strikes out too much? REALLY?

      So that makes him a worse option THAN LYLE OVERBAY OR CASEY KOTCHMAN?!

      That is almost as dumb an argument as the Red Sox fans arguing against signing Paul Konerko a few years ago because that meant either Konerko or Ortiz would have to sit during interleague games.

      You know who hardly ever strikes out? Relief pitchers. Why not just throw one of them on first base every game because of their low incidence of strikeouts?

      • BunchOfIdiots.co - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        What part of: “working out something with Napoli still remains best option,” did you not understand?

        Look at numbers once in a while. Mike Morse, 2012: worse walk-to-strikeout ration in all of MLB. 2011, same stat, he was bottom 15.

        And I’d rather stop-gap the position instead of trading for Morse and then watching him walk after this season.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        This isn’t an article about MORSE though. He commented in HERE. So Napoli MIGHT be a better option than Morse, but that this topic is about Kotchman and Overbay. That suggests to me he thinks that would be a better option than Morse.

        And who even cares about strikeouts? The guy definitely needs to walk more, but when he’s OPSing .900+ (as he did in ’11) what difference does it make?

        And, out of curiosity…..how does one year of Morse not qualify as a “stop-gap”?

        And also….a stop-gap for what? This same situation next year? At least Morse is a first baseman with some possible upside long term. Napoli is clearly breaking down and coming off a down season. Perhaps the Sox could actually teach Morse some patience.

        But frankly, I’d take 1 year of Morse as a stop-gap over being stuck with Napoli on the DL and blocking any legitimate replacement from being found.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        BTW, I apologize if my tone is coming across as aggressive which I recognize may be the case.

        That is not the intended tone of any of my posts.

      • BunchOfIdiots.co - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        Morse comes via trade; obviously means we’re giving up a couple pieces. This doesn’t make sense for a team re-stocking. Believe me, I want no part of Overbay, Kotch, or Carlos Lee. I’d rather Napoli on a 2-year deal. We’ll see. Sox screwed up offering deal in principle, BEFORE checking into his medical history. It’s now as if they’re being patient with Napoli in b/c they know they made a huge mistake up front.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        The thing is….The Sox prospects suuuuuck. They have virtually NOTHING. So IF they can acquire Morse, it’s not going to cost them a future all star.

        And again, Morse at least has upside. Napoli has peaked and appears fragile. Morse MAY be on the verge of blossoming if given a full time assignment.

        Come the All-Star break if he’s hitting .300 with 20 HRs, you don’t think they have the option of extending his deal? And look, they actually may have found more than a stop-gap. They may have found a solid option at first base for the next 4 or 5 years while they actually restock the farm system and maybe develop a blue-chipper at the position.

        I hate them acquiring veteran stopgaps because it retards the development of what little they have in the prospect cupboard….but again, at least Morse has upside, unlike guys like Jonny Gomes and Ryan Sweeney and all the other terrible trades and signings they’ve made for guys who have peaked.

        I won’t write off Napoli as being in that category at this point, but I am nothing but ambivalent about his potential signing.

      • Glenn - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Xander Bogaerts (#4), Matt Barnes (#17), and Jackie Bradley (#40) are rated in the top forty prospects according to Baseball Haven. I’d say that’s pretty good. I realize that there are various lists and they are all debatable. They also got a couple of good pitchers in the salary dump to the Dodgers.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Glenn, Fair enough but after those guys we’re mainly talking depth and potential as opposed to high upside.

      • Glenn - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        Bleacher Report has their whole minor league system rated 10th, ahead of the Rays and Yankees among the 22 teams below them. Plus Lavarnway and Middlebrooks are recent additions to the big club from the system. They specifically mention that there should be a steady stream of talent from the system starting in 2014.

        I’d say that’s pretty far away from “suuuuuck”.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        Glenn, Like I said, your point was fair.

        Although the reason they are highly ranked is because they have a lot of somewhat above-average prospects to go along with the 3 blue chippers you mentioned….which is what I meant when I said beyond those guys it’s depth and potential.

        And you can point to Lavarnway if you like, but umm….he hasn’t exactly shown himself to be a future All Star at the major league level. I’m not knocking him, I am just saying the fact that he made the majors (and was terrible thus far) isn’t exactly a selling point as to the strength of the minor league system. If anything it falls into my argument of overrating prospects (but again, it is waaaaayyyyy too early to say that about him, so don’t misinterpret my point).

        Definitely optimistic about Middlebrooks though and if you asked if I’d trade him for Morse I would say no.

      • Glenn - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:21 AM

        I made three points – their top prospects are excellent, their overall system is strong (above two-thirds of the other teams) and that does not include Middlebrooks and Lavarnway. These rating were made independently by non-biased sources, so have nothing to do with the Red Sox over rating their prospects. All prospects are just that – prospects. No one knows how they will turn out. But again, independent sources rate the Sox system as high when compared to all other prospects from all other systems using the same methodology. I’m not sure what you are not understanding here when you say the Red Sox prospects suck.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        Glenn….

        Per Baseball Prospectus:
        12. Boston Red Sox
        System At a Glance: Far from loaded when it comes to future stars, but still one of the deepest systems around with prospects at every level that bear watching.

        That is my point. Lots of middling talent is not the same as having a solid base of future impact players. It is having a few impact players and a lot of Ryan Sweeneys.

        And that DOES suck.

        And if you’d like, for perspective, here is the comments they make about #13 (The Rays):

        System At a Glance: In danger of losing their status as the poster child for scouting and player development. With Matt Moore in the big leagues, this is a mediocre collection of talent headlined by a player they traded for; recent drafts have been ugly.

        So the Sox rank, in Baseball Prospectus’ opinion, one slot above “a mediocre collection of talent”

    • BunchOfIdiots.co - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Mike Morse is 30-years old and already making $7 million per season. There’s no chance in hell the Red Sox re-sign him, if acquired.

      You’re overrating Morse & underrating some of our ‘spects at the same time.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        I disagree about underrating the prospects.

        If anything, the RSN has a looooong history of wildly overrating prospects.

        Aside from Hanley Ramirez and to a lesser extent Anibal Sanchez who is the last Sox prospect that turned into an All-Star that they traded (and, to be fair, aside from striking gold with the Youkilis-to-Ellsbury group when was the last time they developed an All-Star?)?

        I’m sure I’m forgetting one or two in there, but I also very vividly remember the days of untouchable prospects from Fossum to Ohka to Rose to Coleman to Alcantara to Diaz.

        Remember Dernell Stenson? I do.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 12, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        So what you’re saying is that besides Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Lester, Masterson, Buchholz, Papelbon, Middlebrooks, Sanchez, and Hanley, the Sox haven’t developed any good players. Gotcha.

        As to their current prospects, you won’t find a farm system ranking that has them below average, let alone sucking. Most have Boston around 10th. Jim Callis of Baseball America has them 5th, but while BA is highly respected, that’s a little bullish for me, personally.

        Anyway, the point is, read up on stuff before you start mouthing off.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:07 AM

        Air, Like I said, the Youkilis-to-Ellsbury crop notwithstanding. I recognize Theo hit on a lot of valuable prospects in that window (Masterson though?).

        Again, all those guys happened in a small window (Middlebrooks is a big outlier but also hasn’t put together a track record yet).

        My point is, again, that the Red Sox have a much longer history of overrating their prospects than they do in hitting on them. Who was their last big hit before Youkilis? Nomar? Nixon?

        And this is despite them consistently being highly ranked in the prospect department by the same media sources you want to cite.

        Hell, Donnie Sadler was considered their top prospect at one point.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

        Oh and when you say “Sanchez” do you mean Anibal or Freddy?

        Because Freddy was untouchable at one point too.

        Oh, but he did, somehow, win a batting title for the Pirates so lets pretend the rest of his career didn’t happen.

      • BunchOfIdiots.co - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        When you’re looking to rebuild the organization, you don';t go off and trade ANY prospects for a 31 year old first baseman who has no plate patience and will require an $8-10 million per year deal, once his current.deal runs out following this season.

        I still don';t understand why tbuck is fighting so much for this to happen. Nothing about acquiring Morse makes sense for the Red Sox.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        I actually don’t care whether they acquire Morse or not.

        I don’t have any hope for the Sox this year or in the near future.

        I am just saying that Morse is a viable option. Particularly compared to Napoli and Kotchman/Overbay.

        Plus, you can hit on Morse for his age if you want….but let’s also not forget Daniel Nava who is about to turn 30 years old, with limited major league experience, that MANY Sox fans seem to think is going to be a valuable contributor in the long run. They refer to him as a “prospect”.

        That’s the problem. The Sox have too many Daniel Nava’s and not enough high end prospects to think they can actually “rebuild” with that crop. Like I said earlier, you give Morse (or someone else, I don’t care who, but SOMEONE who has at least shown some potential) a shot if the cost is reasonable and you might have found a 4 or 5 year solution.

        No one expected anything out of David Ortiz except to be a part time player (hell he was splitting time with Jeremy Giambi….people seem to forget that) and look what he did once he got a full time shot.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jan 12, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Go ahead! Make my day! Sign either of those guys. They are also cost efficient, as neither would want $39 million.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      I’ll play first base for the Sox.

      I’ll even do it for the veteran minimum.

      And I will hit at least as well as Casey Kotchman.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      I am sure that the Red Sox could sign both of them to minor league contracts with an invitation to spring training. Let the 2 of them fight it out in spring training for the first base job.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        The only problem with that is that it results in one of them getting a position on the roster.

        Which is a terrible terrible thing.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Fans of the other teams may disagree with you.

  6. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    The Red Sox seem to be breaking through the bottom of the barrel to depths previously unseen. Kotchman was awful last season, and I’m not even sure Overbay played at all.

  7. steelers88 - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Take it from a Pirates fan Lyle Overbay not worth it.

  8. whmiv21 - Jan 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    The Sox are resorting to these guys now? Hip issue or not, we need to finalize the deal with Napoli…

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Yanlees could use a bump at catcher and backup at 1B/DH…I smell a coup.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Yankees could use a bump at catcher and backup at 1B/DH…I smell a coup.

  11. mazblast - Jan 13, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Don’t waste spring training ABs on trash like this, Boston. If you play in the sewers, don’t be surprised if you smell like…

  12. hitdog042 - Jan 13, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Tbf: you can’t compare regimes dude. C’mon. Gordon Duke and Epsteins track records are not at all related. I never saw you mention Pedroia. Papelbon. Hanley Ramirez. Smh. This argument is silly. Bottom line is the sox are merely doing diligence. Like a lot of teams. Napoli will be at first. They need a backup. Ever dawn on you that’s why they checked in in these guys? Smh again. People are hilarious on here!!!

  13. hitdog042 - Jan 13, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Morse is not a fit. He’s an opposite field hitter. He’s a righty. Not at all what the Sox are looking for. And it won’t happen.

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