Ryan's Place

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Brewers Trade for Koskie



From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

Unable to meet his free agent price tag a year ago, the Brewers swung a surprising trade late Friday night to acquire veteran third baseman Corey Koskie from the Blue Jays for a Minor League pitcher.

The Brewers, who will decide whether to start Koskie at third base over Bill Hall, parted with right-hander Brian Wolfe in their second trade with Toronto in less than a month.

Koskie, a 32-year-old left-handed hitter, is a career .277 hitter in eight Major League seasons. He became expendable after the Blue Jays traded for slugging third baseman Troy Glaus, giving the team a surplus of corner infielders. Koskie is reportedly signed for two more years at a guaranteed $11.5 million, but the Jays picked up a portion of that cost.

"Having flexibility is key because when these opportunities come up, you can take advantage," said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who declined to say how much of Koskie's contract will be paid by Toronto. The Associated Press reported this week that Toronto was willing to pay as much as $3 million to expedite a trade sending him back to Minnesota, but the Twins declined.

Melvin followed those reports, and when Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi called earlier in the week to gauge Milwaukee's interest, both sides began negotiating.

"This is a player we showed interest in when he was a free agent, and we were one of the teams he was interested in at the time," Melvin said. "Now we were able to get him at the right price."

Koskie ended up signing a three-year, $17 million deal with the Blue Jays after playing his first 10 professional seasons in the Twins organization. He earned $2.5 million in 2005 and is set to make $5.25 million 2006 and $5.75 million in 2007.

The original deal also included a $6.5 million club option for 2008 with a $500,000 buyout. According to the Toronto Sun, should Koskie amass 600 plate appearances in either 2006 or '07 -- or combine for at least 1,200 over that span -- it would cause his 2008 option to vest.

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