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December 8, 2009

The third man

The Orioles have not been particularly focused on third base during the first couple days of the Winter Meetings, but it appears they may be expanding their horizon at the hot corner. The free agent name that has been most prominent lately is free agent Pedro Feliz, but the Orioles also have expressed interest in San Diego Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who had 18 homers and 88 RBI in 141 games last year.

The Padres are slashing payroll and they've got a handful of players who are headed for arbitration. Kouzmanoff is one of them, and there have been published reports that it's not entirely out of the question he might end up being non-tendered. I think that's ridiculous, but he's definitely available and not necessarily at a heavy price in trade.

He might be more than a one-year stopgap -- he's a 28-year-old guy with good pop and great hands at third -- but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be a fit for the Orioles, who can't be sure that both Josh Bell and first base prospect Brandon Snyder will be ready to play regularly by 2011.

The Padres are trolling for pitching prospects, and they probably wouldn't demand the cream of the Orioles' crop.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:59 PM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Kouzmanoff would not be a bad idea. If we're going to deal David Hernandez, I'd much rather do it for Kouzmanoff than Millwood (as Fordin is reporting).

I'd love to have Big Kouz at the hot corner.

The guy was miserable at Petco (who, aside from Adrian Gonzalez, isn't?), but put up a .287/.323/.455 line on the road.

Plus, as Pete said, he's a very good defender and he's only set to earn somewhere between $3 and $5M in arbitration.

Let's make a deal!

Kouz also put up a 23 homer season in 2008, so 25+ jacks at OPACY isn't out of the question.

At .255 his BA is worse than Mora or Wiggy. I say only move if he is non-tendered.

At .255 his BA is worse than Mora or Wiggy. I say only move if he is non-tendered.

Josh -

Look at the road numbers.

Everyone suffers at Petco.

Wow. Love the idea of Kouz at third. Good pop moving to a smallar park and very good defensively. Give Bell another year in the minors and worry about it then.

Keep checking MLB Trade Rumors to see if this one comes true...

How about Erbe and Hernandez for Kouz?

We shouldnt trade ANY pitching....duh, pony up some money cheap-O's

"How about Erbe and Hernandez for Kouz?"

That would be a drastic overpayment.

From your post, it's difficult to discern whether the O's actually are discussing Kouz with the Padres (which they should be) or if it's just something that was mentioned as a good idea by someone in the organization. Please advise.

Kouzmanoff is a major strikeout king.
Slow as hell, poor OBP, streak hitter.
Typical Padre.

I do not want him.
He is not the answer!

Why does every mention of signing or trading for a third or first baseman have to be couched in terms of the Orioles only looking for a one-year stopgap? There is no guarantee Josh Bell or Brandon Snyder is going to be ready to start at the major league level in 2011. If one or both of them pan out, great, you have some organizational depth that allows you to make a deal to fill other holes. In the meantime, do whatever is needed to fill the corner infield positions in 2010 with quality major leaguers, i.e., players representing an upgrade over Ty Wigginton and Michael Aubrey. If Kouzmanoff is available, go get him and don't worry that he will be "blocking" Josh Bell's advancement to the big leagues.

at the risk of tennis elbow from patting myself on the back keeping me from playing as Roch's doubles partner at Roland Garros this year, I brought up Kouz enthusiastically a month ago . . . so of course I believe wholeheartedly in this rumor since I started it myself.

Kouzmanoff would be a great improvement over Mora and any free agent. He is young and ready to break out. While I believe Josh Bell is going to be a great hitter, he doesn't look like a great fielder, so he may eventually wind up at 1B, DH or OF.

Chesapeake -

You're right about the OBP thing, but, once again, look at his road stats. Petco Park is a place where hitters go to die.

Moving on...

Kouz struck out 106 times last season. 58 players struck out more than he did. Not sure how that could qualify him as a "major strike out king".

And I'm not sure where you got the "streak hitter" bit from. Did you actually look at his month to month splits? Dropping the April outlier (as Kouz is a notorious slow starter his average fluctuates between .258 and .284, his homers between 10 and 13 and his OPS between .755 and .793. Looks like fairly average fluctuation based on a 162 game season.

Oh, you're also right about his speed, but, aside from Chone Figgins, since when did third basemen steal bases?

In short, the guy has 25 homer pop and plays Gold Glove caliber defense (even if writers are too ignorant to actually give him the award). If I'm getting those big pluses in return, I'm not too worried about a low OBP, especially since Kouz would hit 6th or 7th in the O's lineup.

Not Brooks,
You are right about the stadium in SD.

As for the K's, he only had 524 AB's last year. In 2008 he K'd 139 times. He strikes out a lot! And he hits into a lot of double plays.

Looking at his monthly splits, he batted 194 in Sept 08; 214 in May 09; and 233 in Sept 09. He has bad slumps.

For a number 7 hitter, I guess I can deal with it, but I think everyone is looking at only his HR's and thinking he is a solid player.

Sounds great to me, if we can pull it off. I'd like to sign him for three years, or more. But what about Bell, people would whine? Look around MLB. Almost every team but the O's has had the 'problem' of having more good players than there are spots on the field, and somehow they've all dealt with it. But to pass up on a potential great contributor because we have a promising minor-leaguer? Only a club resigned to losing would think that way.

I would prefer to see the O's wait to see if Atkins is non-tendered and take a shot to see if he shakes off a bad 09. If he does they add inexpensive depth at the corners, if he doesn't they wait for Bell to step in.

Would the O's please get MAJOR LEAUGE TALENT !!! I'm so sick and tired of hearing the word PROSPECTS and POTENTIAL... Just go and click on the link with the O's last 1st round draft picks.. Look at all those players who had sooo much POTENTIAL.. Remember 10 years ago when Ryan Minor was suposed to be the next Cal Ripken ? I mean come on have we not learned anything over the last 15 yrs ? Put some PROVEN Major Leauge talent on the field don't count on ANY of your minor leagures turning inot stars. If they do GREAT !! I can deal with the problem of having too many over not having enough !

Speaking from the west coast, I doubt the Padres would want "THE CREAM" of the Orioles pitching talent. I don't think even we could make a straight faced argument that Kouz is worth Matsuz or Tillman. But I think for a decent player or two or a prospect then you could have Kouz. He is a slow starter but plays hard, is a solid defender and a good hitter with ridiculous power. If he gets a hold of one then no ball park contains him. But the Pads need to move him to move Chase Headley back to 3B. So for a decent offer I think a ttrade could be made

Speaking from the west coast, I doubt the Padres would want "THE CREAM" of the Orioles pitching talent. I don't think even we could make a straight faced argument that Kouz is worth Matsuz or Tillman. But I think for a decent player or two or a prospect then you could have Kouz. He is a slow starter but plays hard, is a solid defender and a good hitter with ridiculous power. If he gets a hold of one then no ball park contains him. But the Pads need to move him to move Chase Headley back to 3B. So for a decent offer I think a ttrade could be made

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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