Kotsay Traded To Boston

The Deal
Seeking outfield depth after an injury to J.D. Drew, the Red Sox acquired veteran center fielder Mark Kotsay from the Braves in exchange for short-season outfielder Luis Sumoza.
The Big Leaguer
Kotsay, 32, batted .289/.340/.418 with six home runs and 37 RBIs in 318 at-bats for the Braves, showing the same contact skills and ability to work a count (25 walks, 34 strikeouts) that he always has. Though he’s lost a step in the outfield, he’s playable in center field and solid-average on a corner. He has a strong arm. A  lefthanded hitter, Kotsay should make for an adequate fill-in for Drew.  
The Prospect
The Red Sox signed Sumoza out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old in 2004, though in four seasons he never played a game in full-season ball. He spent a season in the Venezuelan Summer League and then two in the Gulf Coast League, before suiting up for short-season Lowell this season. Sumoza, 20, showed plus athleticism, arm strength and good raw power with the Spinners, batting .301/.366/.549 with 11 home runs in 193 at-bats. The righthanded batter left the league ranked among its home run and slugging leaders. A strong athlete and above-average defender on an outfield corner, Sumoza struggled with consistency, as a long swing could lead to excessive strikeouts at times.
Quick Take
The need was acute and the price was right, making this trade a no-brainer for Boston. With the trade of Kotsay, the Braves can begin auditioning younger outfielders, Gregor Blanco, Josh Anderson and Brandon Jones among them, as they look to 2009.

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