Casey Kotchman to sign with the Indians

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Jon Heyman reports that Casey Kotchman is going to sign with the Indians. According to Paul Hoynes, it’s a one year deal for $3 million plus incentives.

Earlier this week he was rumored to be going to the Orioles, but that apparently went nowhere.

Kotchman had a nice 2011 with the Rays, hitting .306/.378/.422 in 563 plate appearances.  For his career he’s a .268/.336/.398 guy, and it’s not exactly realistic to expect him to repeat his 2011.

He plays slick defense at first base and is an upgrade over Matt LaPorta.  It suggests, however, that Carlos Santana’s time at first base will be reduced as well. Whether that is just for next year or for the long haul is an open question.

Jimmy Nelson to undergo back surgery

Jimmy Nelson back surgery
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Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo lumbar surgery on his lower back on Tuesday.

Nelson, 31, signed with the Dodgers on an incentive-laden one-year, $1.25 million contract with a vesting 2021 option back in January. With incentives, Nelson could have pushed his 2021 option from $2 million to $9 million. The Dodgers can instead buy him out of his contract for $500,000.

At the beginning of spring training in February, Nelson was battling groin and lower back issues and ultimately exited a late-February bullpen session due to back issues, ending his chance to win a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Nelson missed the entire 2018 season due to a shoulder injury and briefly pitched for the Brewers last season. Across 22 innings, the right-hander allowed 17 earned runs on 25 hits and 17 walks with 26 strikeouts.

David Price recently opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the Dodgers’ rotation appears to include Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urías, Alex Wood, and one of Ross Stripling, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin.