Not all that long ago, we were talking about what the Kansas City Chiefs could give us for Brady Quinn that would be considered “enough.” Jokingly, I mentioned a few of their baseball players like Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. So when I heard that we were looking to Kansas City to fill our hole at third base, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. After all…Gordon is their third baseman.
But what I didn’t have in mind was utility man Mark Teahen.
Sure, Teahen had a decent 2006. You cannot argue with a guy that hits .290/.357/.517 with 18 home runs in less than 400 at-bats. However, since then, we have seen a huge regression in his batting average, hitting .285 and .255 in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Combined with the fact that he has totaled 22 home runs over both seasons (in over 1,100 at bats), and I think that the Indians should be aiming a bit higher here.
Especially when you consider some of the names that Kansas City would like in return: Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco or Trevor Crowe. Logjam in our outfield? You bet. But would I want to move any of these three for a mediocre utilty man? I mean, he is almost a younger, poor-man’s Casey Blake. I say, “no thank you.”
What did catch me by surprise was the offer that appeared to be on the table last season.
The Royals previously tried to pry either Gutierrez or Francisco from the Indians when shopping reliever Octavio Dotel midway through the 2007 season.
Yes, the same Dotel that fanned 92 batters in 67 innings with a WHIP of 1.21 for the Chicago White Sox in 2008. That sure would have been nice to have in our bullpen this past year, eh? Consider that we’re in the hunt for Brian Fuentes’ $36 million price tag, and it looks even worse in hindsight. But I digress…
To me, it sounds like the Royals are just trying to get something for Mark Teahen as he was one of the main players that they received for Carlos Beltran in 2004. But now, Teahen is already 27-years old. He has a career average of .249 against lefties. And factor in that he had to hit .313 in the month of September just to get his average to .255, and we seriously need to consider other options.
What this does show us going into the winter months is that the Tribe is definitely considering parting with the three players mentioned above. With Grady Sizmore not leaving center field any time soon, and Michael Brantley in the system, Crowe’s future with the Indians has to be up in the air. Shin-Soo Choo will have a starting role on opening day, leaving one starting spot – most likely in left field. And with Matt LaPorta looking to be wearing the Wahoo by next fall, Francisco and Gutierrez seem to make sense given their age and upside.
To be continued…