Veteran outfielder/first baseman Mark Kotsay will call it a career after the 2013 season, he told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune over the weekend. Kotsay, now in his second stint with the Padres, told Center that his goal late in his career was to get back to San Diego and retire as a Padre:
“San Diego is where Jamie and I and our family call home,” said Kotsay. “I signed back here (before the 2012 season) because I wanted to end my career as a Padre.”
Kotsay said he first reached out to the Friars about a return tour following the 2008 season, though he ultimately wound up signing with the Red Sox that offseason instead.
A career .276/.332/.405 hitter, his Major League numbers were negatively impacted by a series of back injuries that required multiple surgeries. Kotsay said he's often wondered what his numbers would've looked like if his back had stayed healthy, though he told MLB.com's Corey Brock on Sunday that he quit thinking like that long ago. Manager Bud Black sang Kotsay's praises to both reporters, noting that Kotsay was not only a great influence on the team's young players but also a great veteran sounding board for the coaching staff.
As for a career in baseball beyond playing, Kotsay told Center that his current focus is on making his family his No. 1 priority. However, he did concede that he's interested in returning to the game in some capacity in the future, even if there's no plan in place at this time.
Kotsay will finish his career with more than 1,700 hits (he has 1,781 right now) and career earnings in excess of $50MM, according to Baseball-Reference.com. In addition to the Padres and Red Sox, Kotsay has also played for the Marlins, A's, Braves, White Sox and Brewers in parts of 17 Major League seasons.