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Casey Kotchman Is Heading to the Cleveland Indians

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 03:  First baseman Casey Kotchman #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays fields a ground ball hit by Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers and steps on first base for the out in the second inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 3, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Rocky BrownCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2012

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports announced via his Twitter that Casey Kotchman is headed to the Indians. Heyman later announced that the deal is one year worth $3 million plus incentives.

Kotchman had one of his best seasons offensively last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .306 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs. 

Many have said that the Indians were looking for an upgrade over first baseman Matt LaPorta, the prized piece the Indians received in the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee, who some have considered a disappointment in his short time with the Tribe.

LaPorta only batted .247 at the plate last year but has shown more power than Kotchman. However, Kotchman is much better in the field than LaPorta. Kotchman currently has the highest fielding percentage of any first baseman with at least 500 career games at the position with a .9982 average.

The Indians acquired another Tampa Bay first baseman a few days ago when they traded for 2011 International League MVP Russ Canzler.

While Canzler and Kotchman probably aren't the "prince" like upgrade that Indians' fans were dying for, it does show that the front office didn't just sit on their hands with a position many identified as a weakness for the Indians last season.

It'll be interesting to see how first base shakes out for the team throughout spring training and the entire 2012 season.

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