Transaction Analysis: Coghlan Comes Home

This piece, written (in part) by BPW’s Matt Trueblood, ran on the main site this morning. We trust you’ll enjoy a preview of it here.

Acquired UT-L Chris Coghlan from Oakland Athletics in exchange for UT-B Arismendy Alcantara. [6/9]

I’m not a soft factors guy, but Chris Coghlan can’t be properly understood without soft factors. The Cubs reacquired him for hard, cold, logistical reasons, not because of soft factors, and we’ll talk about those reasons soon enough, but there’s no good way to look at what lies ahead of Coghlan without considering his story—the person behind the absolute worst True Average in baseball this season (among those with at least 150 plate appearances).

Coghlan’s career—hell, his whole life—has seen a cruel and unending series of sharp rises and falls. The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year was demoted to the minor leagues in late July of 2010, because the Marlins never understood Coghlan, never appreciated him. Eventually, it began to seem that no one understood or appreciated him. Coghlan would come up, hit well at times, struggle at others, go through streaks and slumps, and then be either benched or relegated back to the Pacific Coast League. Not only would the team who drafted him in the first round in 2005 not give him a full-fledged chance to prove that his rookie romp had been real, but the other 29 teams seemed not to value him any more highly, or at least not to care enough to pry him loose from Florida. Finally, the Marlins non-tendered him in December of 2013. A team that had just lost 100 games had no use for him.

For the rest of the piece, please head on over to the main site.

 Lead photo courtesy Kim Klement—USA Today Sports.

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