When we last spoke about the Indians on-going search for a middle of the order bat, things seemed to be veteran first baseman Carlos Pena. With the turn of each calendar day inching us closer and closer to Spring Training, some sort of decision has to be made. There are three first base options in free agency that appear to be targets for the Indians: Pena, Derrek Lee (whom we also discussed last week), and the latest to be linked to the Tribe – Casey Kotchman.
According to Jon Heyman on CBS Sports, “Pena and Kotchman are the most likely offensive options for the Indians.” Include Lee, and you could truly make a case for all three to be the Indians best move. All three are plus-defenders, with Pena and Lee both former Gold Glove winners. Pena, 33, has the most pure power, averaging 34 homers over the past five seasons. Kotchman, 28, is the youngest of the three and is the best contact hitter (just 66 K’s in 563 plate appearances in 2011). Lee, 36, is the one right-handed bat of the trio and still has pop.
All three have their shortcomings as well. [Read more...]