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Braves Trade for Mark Kotsay

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The Braves will trade reliever Joey Devine to the A's to acquire Mark Kotsay to fill their centerfield vacancy.

The Braves know a lot more about baseball than I do, but right now, I don't like this trade at all for them. Kotsay was once a very good, underrated player - sort of like Mike Cameron in that he posted underwhelming raw numbers that looked better once you considered his defense and the parks he's played in - but he's gotten worse on offense every year since 2004, and he's been dealing with back problems for the past couple years. The Athletics' website recently reported that he's healed, but with back problems, who knows.

Also, Kotsay was so bad last year - he had a .575 OPS overall and didn't post an OPS above .653 in any month of the season - that it's worth wondering whether he's even worth clearing a spot for. I'd rather just see how Brent Lillibridge does in center than trade for Kotsay (and take on $2 million of his salary). One wonders what, if anything, the Pirates might have been able to get from the Braves for Chris Duffy - Atlanta liked Duffy last offseason, and his 2007 was less of a disaster than Kotsay's was.

In return, Oakland gets a potential late-inning reliever in Devine, who was a first-round draft pick in 2005, has a good fastball/slider combo, and tore through Classes AA and AAA last year at age 23. Great trade for the A's.