Boston’s Backup Plans

With the Mike Napoli contract looking more and more unlikely to go through by the day, the Red Sox are reportedly changing course and looking for cheap fallback options. Enter Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay, two of the most available first basemen in the game.

Oct 2, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman (35) yells while grounding out in the tenth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Overbay, who split last season between Atlanta and Arizona, is a career .270/.353/.438 hitter, which would be a solid enough line if he wasn’t trying to play the least demanding position on the field. He was worth all of 0.1 WAR last season per FanGraphs.

Kotchman was even worse. In 142 games with Cleveland, the 29-year-old was worth negative 1.5 WAR while posting a .271 wOBA. It was a down season to be sure, but like Overbay, Kotchman’s bat has never been anywhere near dangerous enough to make him a viable option at such an offensive-minded position.

Boston is correct in seeking out backup options if Napoli slips through their fingers, but if these two names are the best they can come up with as external candidates, perhaps it’s time the organization considered internal options — any internal options.

Can’t get enough of Spencer? Check out his work at StanGraphs and follow him on Twitter at @shendricks221.

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Casey Kotchman, Lyle Overbay

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