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more-center-fielders-on-the-horizon | January | 2008 Articles

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More center fielders on the horizon?

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David O'Brien reports today that the Braves may not be done shopping for center fielders, as we all guessed. It's a slow news day kind of thing, as he says: "I’m not saying a deal is imminent or even that the Braves have strong interest in the veteran [Mark] Kotsay, but I’ve talked to people connected with both teams and have yet to have anyone tell me it’s not gonna happen." He notes that Corey Patterson is another lukewarm possibility. In case you'd forgotten, Mark Kotsay and Corey Patterson aren't good. Kotsay hasn't had an OPS+ over 100 since 2004, and Patterson hasn't since 2003. At this point in their careers, they're low-average, low-OBP out machines. Still, one of them might be worth a one-time sunk cost of $4 million or so, to give Jordan Schafer a bit more development time and keep the clock stopped on his arbitration eligibility. Sadly, they're both lefties like Josh Anderson and Gregor Blanco, so there's no easy way to mask their deficiencies through a platoon. And despite their awfulness, it's hard to imagine they'd be available for $4 million. Center field miracles do happen, of course -- don't forget that we cut Gary Matthews, Jr. during spring training in 2004. But we're running out of offseason. If you weren't starting to salivate already, the Pittsburgh Pirates have already started their minicamp, apparently taking their cue from the presidential primary schedule. Only a couple more weeks till baseball!
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