Kotsay in Oakland

I try to read Will Carroll’s columns at Baseball Prospectus when I can; Carroll does a great job reporting on and analyzing injuries, and there’s really nobody else out there who compares to his work in this area. Carroll alone is probably worth the subscription price. Anyway, Carroll’s fairly optimistic about Mark Kotsay’s ability to recover from the back trouble that ruined his 2003 season. The addition of Kotsay, the poor man’s Trot Nixon, suggests to me that the A’s are continuing their recent trend of moving towards valuing defense and away from their earlier emphasis on high-OPS players as the likely candidates for bargain shopping. But throwing Ramon Hernandez into the deal does suggest to me that the A’s are up to something else and looking to clear roster space.
I’m less enthused about them dealing Ted Lillly for Bobby Kielty, but more on that later.