Go Get Botts

Jason Botts of the Texas RangersAs was pointed out by loyal MetsToday readers Micalpalyn and DaveVW, Jason Botts has been DFA’d by the Texas Rangers.

The switch-hitting slugger has been a low-risk, high-reward, under-the-radar target here at MetsToday since about 1949. OK, maybe not that long, but it sure feels that way. Now it appears he’s there for the taking, available for a scrub A-ball non-prospect.

For those who haven’t been following, Jason Botts is the poor man’s version of Adam Dunn. He’s 27 years old, stands 6’5″, weighs 250 lbs., can play both first base and left field adequately. He hasn’t yet made his mark in the big leagues, but has a career OBP of .390 in the minors and began to mature as a power hitter in the last three years. He strikes out a lot, but puts the ball over the fence fairly frequently and will also take a walk. There’s no guarantee he’ll be a success in MLB but he has proven all he can prove at AAA and will now come cheaply.

He’s out of options, and the Rangers kept him on their 25-man roster to start the season after batting .313 in spring training and beating out fellow out-of-options slugger Nelson Cruz for the last spot on the team. However, after the first month of the season, Botts is batting only .158 with 18 strikeouts and two homeruns in 38 at-bats.

With Moises Alou supposedly returning by the weekend, perhaps now is not the time for the Mets to chase after an enigma such as Botts. After all, to make room for Alou, the Mets will have to demote someone — most likely catcher Gustavo Molina. The next most likely to be demoted position player is Angel Pagan, and as much as I salivate over the possibility of putting the orange and blue onto a horse like Botts, I’m not convinced he’d be more valuable than Pagan at this point in time. Though, Pagan has cooled off, and he is essentially redundant when you consider that Endy Chavez is on the roster. Further, Pagan has options. If by chance the Mets can grab Botts for next to nothing, it might be worth the gamble, as there are ZERO MLB-ready homerun hitters in the Mets’ farm system.

Most likely, Botts would be a bust — though an inexpensive one. But, there’s that tiny chance of catching lightning in a bottle — as the Tampa Bay Rays did with Carlos Pena last year, the Padres did with Adrian Gonzalez, and the Indians did with Travis Hafner prior to the 2003 season. And guess what? All three of Pena, Gonzalez, and Hafner were originally Rangers’ property. Huh.

To refresh everyone’s memory, here are previous mentions of Botts on this site:

Forget About Botts

Latest On Botts

Three Guys to Get Right Now

Roster Room

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Micalpalyn April 30, 2008 at 11:46 am
    OK I’ll start:

    1. I dont know Botts (or didley). But I defer to you Joe and Isuzu who commented on this previously. (Joe- add a link to the previous post). You added the newspaper link and if you read the comments you will get a glimpse of what some fans think of this management group. I mean Tejada, Cruz, Salty and now Botts (and soon Danks) are removed for re-tread vets on a team without ANY vision.

    2. I think Omar has flexed his vision and forced some youngster and flexibility onto this team. I think botts big upside is 1st base and Omar has to consider him as a possible option for delgado. Marlon CANNOT play 1st.

    3. The problem is flexibility. Obviously demoting Pagan is an option. That makes Endy the only back up Ofer. I’d try to pick him (Botts) up then pass him thru waivers myself (ala stevie Phillips). But then you could be stuck with lttle/no roster flexibility if you end up pulling him back off waivers. A good thing is that you’d have a righty power bat off the bench and a possible platoon at 1st base. PLUS he can cover Moises in LF. If Beltran or Church is injured -call up Pagan. I think Endy is the guy who will go if not sooner than later. Why? – Pagan is a cheaper, younger version with option(s) and essentially is a similar style of player. Marlon (and Easley) provide the other bench options.

    4. “Poor man’s version of Adam Dunn’- i see another Omar project.

  2. joe April 30, 2008 at 12:05 pm
    Endy the only backup outfielder? Botts can play a corner (though not well), as can Damion Easley and Marlon Anderson. None are great defensively, but how often would they be replacing Carlos Beltran or Ryan Church?

    As mentioned, Botts could be a bust, but there’s enough to suggest he could be a big-time power hitter — and I’m not convinced that his 280 or so MLB at-bats are enough to judge him. The problem, of course, is that he probably doesn’t fit on the Mets right now — similar quandary with Ruben Gotay.

  3. Micalpalyn April 30, 2008 at 12:52 pm
    Joe: Sorry if I rambled.

    1. Actually THAT’s my point….I think he COULD fit.
    a. He IS cover in the OF.
    b. He could platoon at 1st, and possibly be the incumbent next year. I think the problems we have at 1st could be

    2. Pagan- who (worst case) would be at AAA is cover against an injury.

    3. Re: Ryan Church. Who is he? wasn’t he supposed to make Omar look like an idiot? So far Ryan Church is the 1st half MVP. This same Ryan Church was deposed in washington by Willie mo Pena. likewise I think there’s a little room for comparison to Jason Botts. I dont know enuff about Botts defense though. The bottomline is

    4. PS: Pagan is hitting .286, Marlon .143, Endy.230, Easley .278. I think in Opagan’s previous game he hit a triple as a PH.