Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Kotsay, A's Have Decisions to Make

Mark Kotsay will never be in a better position to renegotiate an extension of his contract with the A’s than he is in right now.

With playoff contenders like the Cubs, Yankees, and Orioles desperate for an impact center fielder, Billy Beane and the A’s suddenly have a very difficult decision to make.

Do you extend Kotsay’s contract now or trade the clubhouse leader before the July 31st trade deadline?

Click below for more!If you don’t make either choice, Kotsay undoubtedly will opt out of his current contract this winter, which he has the right to do, and then test the free agent market.

If the A’s are not prepared to spend 8-9 million per year on the centerfielder, he will move to the highest bidder at the deadline.

The Cubs might offer center fielder Corey Patterson and a pitcher like Sergio Mitre for Kotsay. Patterson has been a disappointment so far, but has a tremendous upside even though his strike out totals will throw the A’s computer out of whack.

Barry Zito might be the best starter available at the trade deadline if the A’s are inclined to move the former Cy Young award winner.

Problem is any team trading for Zito, and the price will be high, runs the risk of losing Zito to free agency after the 2006 season.

That sticky detail won’t stop the Yankees from trying to add Zito to a starting corps that has come apart at the seams in the Bronx.

It’s now time for the A’s to step up and sign manager Ken Macha to a multi year extension. The long time baseball veteran is a perfect fit to lead this ball club.

Macha understands how to work with the A’s ‘hands on” front office, is a master at teaching young players how to compete at the major league level, and most of all wants to stay in Oakland with this team.

The players respect Macha’s no nonsense approach to the game and that is a huge plus when dealing with today’s pampered athletes.

The Giants might deny it, but Jason Schmidt is definitely available for the right price next month. Problem is no one knows what the market will bear because of Schmidt’s inconsistent season.

The Yankees and Red Sox will fall over each other trying to pry Schmidt away from the
Giants before the deadline, you can count on it.
Would the Giants consider trading Moises Alou back to the Cubs?

With Barry Bonds’ return still up in the air, they should move Alou now for two young up and coming players.

The Giants built the 2005 team with veteran players figuring that Bonds would carry the load. It hasn’t happened because of the season long absence of the seven time MVP. The Giants can’t make the same mistake next season, so they should move as many of the older players as possible right away.

Alou to the Cubs should be the first.

The Marlins are still the team to watch in the NL East.

Florida is a complete team only lacking a legitimate lefty in the bull pen. They are eyeing the Rockies Brian Fuentes, but so far the asking price is too high.

The Phillies need starting pitching. Jon Leiber has come back to earth after a hot start, Cory Lidle is still inconsistent, and Vincente Padilla has too many aches and pains.

No doubt, the Phillies will enter the Zito – Schmidt sweepstakes, and they have exciting young players to offer which can make a deal happen.

You can’t overlook the Braves. With Andruw Jones hitting a home runs every other day, once Bobby Cox gets Tim Hudson and the rest of his injured starting pitchers back, the Braves will make a run at the leaders.

It’s time for baseball to bring back the antifraternization rules that used to be in effect prior to games. I’m tired of seeing opposing players on the field greeting each other before the game acting like cousins at a family reunion.

Baseball is a tough game and should be viewed that way once a player enters the park.

The White Sox are in the market for an established closer because they are concerned about the durability of current ninth inning reliever Dustin Hermanson.

Knowing how aggressive ChiSox GM Kenny Williams is when senses a need that has to be filled on his ball club, don’t be surprised to see him get a top closer like Brad Lidge or Danys Baez as the Sox get ready for the postseason.

The wheels have come off in Minnesota. Certain signs that trouble is afoot, Brad Radke who would rather have a tooth pulled than walk a hitter, issued three free passes in five innings during his last start.

Another explanation for the team’s current slide, the Twins have committed more errors than every AL team except the Tigers and Devil Rays.


1 Anonymous { 06.26.05 at 12:56 pm }

The Kotsay contract may be the first indication of whether or not Lew Wolff is willing to “loosen the purse strings” when appropriate. However, I think his first priority is to resolve the ballpark issue. If Wolff can make signficant progress on that this year, only then do I see him willing to spend extra money. That won’t save Kotsay for this year, though.

However, should we DO extend Kotsay’s contract, that should be an indication that Wolff is further along in the process than he’s let on. Unfortunately, as long as the market for starting pitchers remains as hot as it is, I don’t see Zito staying long term.

Of course, Wolff could surprise us there as well, but Billy Beane usually does his best work with low and medium priced guys. The goal here is to give him more “medium” than “low” to work with. Any idiot GM can sign a top dollar player.


2 Anonymous { 06.27.05 at 2:11 pm }

Hey Marty,

Prior threw a gem for the Cubbies against White Sox on his return from the DL. On Saturday, FOX’s Kevin Kennedy mentioned Kerry Wood will be back on Wednesday. So, I’m still drinking your Kool-Aid for the North siders being the NL Wild Card winner. In the NL East, the Nats home winning streak got snap by the Jays in the battle of North America. Down south Smoltz and Braves took the O’s down south of first place. In the west of NL, Padres bounce back well from clobbering on Friday, now San Diego gets the Dodgers at a good time. The Giants are going down to Arizona hoping for an oasis of positives after being clobbered by the A’s. Speaking of the A’s, Oakland is on the Lurie’s radar hope its brings some good luck for rest of the season. Kotsay situation is the negative buzz around the Oakland faithful at the moment, decisions made hopefully are positive. Not just for the fan, but for Nick Swisher who’s mentor is Mark. It’s the Angels at the Rangers tonight, the Halos have won six straight, and Texas still struggling.
“the Twins have committed more errors than every AL team except the Tigers and Devil Rays.”
Not the Twins way, Minnesota like the Tribe and Tigers all need get their act together since the ChiSox can beat anybody any way from “small ball” to “Earl Weaver ball”. Boston back on top of East, every sports radio host or writer are just waiting on the Yankees decisions. Until then I’ll keep listening to war of words between Shooty & Marty, it’s entertainment but more is always merrier.
Keep Kotsay in his Korner (Also, Marty & Shooty),
Edgar B. Martinez, A’s Fan aka Pachyderm

3 Anonymous { 06.28.05 at 1:43 pm }

To say “Ken Macha is a perfect fit to lead this ballclub,” is a little premature. Thus far, I haven’t been impressed with Macha. He’s a bore. He’s the Oakland A’s manager because of two reasons: He’s cheap and familiar with the organization’s philosophy.

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