Mark Kotsay Rumors

Padres Expected To Name Interim Manager Today

The Padres are expected to name an interim manager that will hold the position through the end of the season today, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune. More than likely, it’ll be an internal candidate, Lin adds. He hears that Triple-A manager Pat Murphy and bench coach Dave Roberts (who managed last night’s contest in Black’s absence) are the two likeliest candidates. First-year hitting coach Mark Kotsay has been discussed internally, he adds, but Kotsay is viewed as a less likely candidate.

Both Will Carroll of Fanduel and Keith Olbermann of ESPN heard yesterday that Murphy was on his way to San Diego, though Olbermann’s source indicated that it was possible that Murphy could become either the bench coach or the manager (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that some view Murphy as the favorite to succeed Black, at least for the remainder of the season, and he will indeed be interviewed (or, perhaps, was already interviewed last night). Heyman writes that general manager A.J. Preller is said to want a manager with a fiery personality, and the Padres recently declined to let Murphy interview for a big league coaching position with the Brewers, perhaps indicating larger plans for him.

While Lin’s report makes Kotsay appear unlikely, Joel Sherman of the New York Post did tweet yesterday that the most common names he’s heard from executives outside of the Padres organization are Kotsay and Murphy. Scott Miller of FOX Sports Southwest and Bleacher Report added third base coach Glenn Hoffman’s name into the mix as well.


Rosenthal’s Latest: Managers, A’s, Reddick, Tulo, Astros

Earlier this week, in the wake of the Marlins’ managerial change, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that the two skippers who were most obviously on the hot seat had now been dismissed. With Mike Redmond and Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke having been replaced, Rosenthal looks at four more managers who could eventually find themselves in danger of losing their jobs, listing John Gibbons (Blue Jays), Bud Black (Padres), Fredi Gonzalez (Braves) and Terry Collins (Mets) as the likeliest options. Gibbons can’t be blamed for the lack of quality relief arms he has at his disposal, Rosenthal notes, but bench coach Demarlo Hale has long been thought of as a managerial prospect and makes sense as a replacement option. Black’s Padres are struggling with pitching, and Mark Kotsay‘s name is floated by Rosenthal as someone who could be the next recently retired player to turn manager. Braves president of baseball ops John Hart isn’t as high on Gonzalez as president John Schuerholz or Bobby Cox, and there’s been some recent “internal finger-pointing,” Rosenthal hears. Collins nearly lost his job at the end of the 2014 season, he notes, and while the team is still in first place, the Mets’ managerial situation has long been volatile in nature.

Here’s more from Rosenthal…

  • In a new Notes column, Rosenthal looks at the Athletics‘ roster in the wake of a brutal start to the season. As many have pointed out, Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard and Ben Zobrist — each a pending free agent — would all be logical trade candidates if the team is still underperforming in July. However, Rosenthal writes that there’s no way GM Billy Beane will act quickly and sell, as he’ll first want to see how the team performs with Zobrist and closer Sean Doolittle healthy and activated from the DL. One change that won’t be coming, Rosenthal adds, is at manager. Beane and skipper Bob Melvin have a strong relationship, and it’s “exceptionally unlikely” that Melvin would be dismissed, in Rosenthal’s eyes.
  • Another possible trade chip for the A’s could be Josh Reddick, who is earning $4.1MM after his second trip through arbitration this year. The Athletics, however, resisted trade offers for Reddick all offseason, Rosenthal hears.
  • Rosenthal recently called Rockies owner Dick Monfort to discuss the recent Troy Tulowitzki trade chatter. However, when Rosenthal began asking about Tulowitzki, Monfort “quickly hung up.” The bizarre situation lends credence to wide-spread belief that Tulo, his agent and even GM Jeff Bridich have little say in whether or not the Rockies trade the face of their franchise. Rather, it’ll come down to the team owner’s wishes.
  • The Astros are considering a long list of pitchers that either are or could become available, and they’ve recently been scouting Jeff Samardzija. It remains to be seen if the Astros would be willing to part with enough to get their hands on Samardzija, though. As Rosenthal notes, some rival execs feel that the tandem pitching system the Astros use in the minors devalues their pitching prospects, though one exec told him that it actually increases the value, as it suppresses the young pitchers’ inning counts.
  • Rosenthal believes the Rays should consider trading left-hander Jake McGee to either help their rotation or another area of the team. McGee, he notes, is earning $3.55MM this season and will see that price tag sail beyond $5MM in arbitration this winter.
  • Of course, as I noted yesterday when looking at this topic, using McGee in the ninth inning would help to keep down the future earnings of Brad Boxberger, who would benefit greatly from two full seasons of saves when he heads into arbitration following the 2016 season. And, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd mentioned to me earlier today when we were chatting, left-handed relief is an area of weakness for the Rays at this time. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if the scenario Rosenthal lays out came to fruition, and it’s hard to imagine that the Rays wouldn’t at least be open-minded to moving McGee.

Padres Notes: Kotsay, Bats, Headley, Everth, Johnson

The Padres have announced that Mark Kotsay will join the team’s uniformed staff as the hitting coach. Kotsay, 39 tomorrow, saw action in 17 MLB campaigns — including two stints with the Friars. He hung up his spikes before the 2014 season, which he spent with the organization as a special assistant.

Here’s more out of San Diego:

  • GM A.J. Preller is “aggressively” seeking to acquire bats that would position the team as a near-term division contender, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The team has already been a significant factor in several early signings, though it has yet to land a major target this offseason.
  • We already took a look at a recent piece from MLB.com’s Corey Brock addressing the Padres’ offseason efforts, but another of his notes bears mention. Recently-dealt third baseman Chase Headley, now a free agent, is not believed to be a fit for his old club, a source tells Brock. A reunion had at least seemed hypothetically plausible, especially after the team dangled big money at Pablo Sandoval.
  • Like other clubs around the game, the Pads are preparing to make some difficult non-tender decisions tomorrow evening. As Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes, the decision on shortstop Everth Cabrera is complicated by his recent PED suspension, arrest for driving under the influence of marijuana, and related charge for resisting arrest. Sources tell Lin that Cabrera was “not entirely forthcoming” with the club in the aftermath of the DUI, which may play a role in the team’s decision. Of course, the 28-year-old’s .232/.272/.300 slash last year does not help his cause either.
  • Free agent starter Josh Johnson is still weighing offers from multiple teams, agent Matt Sosnick told MLBTR in last week’s podcast (around the 18:00 mark). “He’s a pretty loyal guy,” said Sosnick, such that the chances are he probably goes back to San Diego.” Johnson’s representative explained that the righty was drawing “a ton of interest” from other clubs, but valued many things about his relationship with the Padres. As he rehabs back from Tommy John surgery, the 30-year-old hopes to start throwing from a mound in the middle of February.


Mark Kotsay To Retire At Season’s End

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.


Padres, Mark Kotsay Agree To Extension

2:40pm: Kotsay's extension is worth $1.3MM, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

10:33am: The Padres announced via press release that they have agreed to terms on a contract extension with Kotsay.  “Mark provides versatility and a very good late-game at-bat,” General Manager Josh Byrnes said. “He brings invaluable leadership to our club and has become one of the key members of our team.

9:20am: The Padres are set to extend veteran Mark Kotsay through the 2013 season today, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter).  San Diego has been impressed by the veteran's clubhouse presence and his bat off of the bench, according to Brock.  

Kotsay, 36, has a .275/.333/.363 slash line with one home run in 111 plate appearances. The outfielder/first baseman made just $1.25MM this season and earned trade interest from multiple clubs in July, including the Reds.  Kotsay owns a .278/.334/.409 batting line across his 16-year career.


Reds Interested In Mark Kotsay

Padres outfielder/first baseman Mark Kotsay is drawing interest from multiple clubs, including the Reds, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. However, the Padres value Kotsay's leadership and may keep him.

Kotsay, 36, has a .292/.370/.375 batting line in 81 plate appearances and a salary of just $1.25MM. The left-handed hitter could provide the Reds with late-game flexibility at a reasonable cost.

Cincinnati has also been linked to Juan Pierre, so the club appears to be eyeing low-cost outfielders who bat from the left side. I've speculated that Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava might also appeal to the Reds. For a detailed look at the trade market for outfielders click here.


Morosi On Greinke, Brewers, Kotsay

It'll be a surprise if Zack Greinke is pitching for the Brewers after the July 31st trade deadline, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Here are some more details from Morosi, starting with the Brewers right-hander:

  • Greinke didn't offer much detail on his contract talks with the Brewers — “I don’t know anything about that. I’m not really talking about it" — but the Brewers are preparing to trade him if an extension isn't possible. 
  • Morosi is almost certain the Brewers will be sellers and notes that the Braves, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles, White Sox and Indians would like to upgrade their rotations. Morosi adds that the Rangers, Angels and Yankees had scouts at Greinke’s most recent start. Greinke, a free agent after the season, figures to obtain a qualifying from the Brewers this fall if he stays in Milwaukee. No other team can obtain draft pick compensation for Greinke if he leaves as a free agent this offseason.
  • Mark Kotsay will be one of the most sought-after bench bats in summer trade talks, Morosi writes (Twitter links). The Padres have outfield depth in Carlos Quentin, Chris Denorfia, Cameron Maybin, Jesus Guzman and Will Venable.

Padres Sign Mark Kotsay

The Padres agreed to terms with Mark Kotsay on a one-year deal, the team announced today. The contract is worth $1.25MM.  Kotsay previously played for the Padres from 2001-03; he was one of their best players during that time.

“We are elated to bring Mark back to the Padres,” said GM Josh Byrnes. “His versatility and leadership will be invaluable for our club.”

Kotsay, 35, hit .270/.329/.373 in 255 plate appearances for the Brewers this year, spending time at all three outfield positions and first base.  Kotsay, who resides 35 minutes from Petco Park in Rancho Santa Fe, California, is represented by Legacy Sports Group.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides had reached an agreement.


NL Central Notes: Kotsay, Wainwright, Lucroy

Adam Wainwright's potentially season-threatening injury is grabbing a lot of headlines today. Here's more on that and some other items of note coming out of the NL Central.

  • The Brewers' deal with Mark Kotsay includes a few incentives, blogs Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Here's the breakdown: Kotsay's base salary if for $800K, and he can earn up to $450K in incentives. He'll earn $25K each if he reaches 125 and 150 plate appearances, $50K each for 175 and 200 PAs, $50K each for 40, 60, 80 and 100 games started, and $100K if he's on the roster on July 1.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak remains pessimistic about Wainwright's injury after speaking to a team doctor, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wainwright will get a second opinion on his ailing right elbow on Thursday, and the club will decide on a treatment plan from there, writes Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.
  • Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is expected to miss four weeks after suffering a broken right pinky during blocking drills on Wednesday, according to a club press release. The injury will require surgery, but Brewers GM Doug Melvin said, "We feel OK for now," when asked whether he'd be pursuing another backstop, blogs McCalvy.
  • Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes was apparently celebrating Wainwright's injury, writes Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News. Seeing as it's all in the name of competition, and the Reds' chance of winning the NL Central jumped significantly on account of Wainwright's injury, Gomes' reaction is not a big deal, writes Rob Neyer of SBNation.com. Gomes, however, said that his reaction was misconstrued and that he'd never celebrate another player's injury, blogs Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

Brewers Sign Mark Kotsay

The Brewers signed Mark Kotsay to a Major League contract, according to the team. Kotsay will earn $800K plus a $100K roster bonus and $350K in performance bonuses, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The 35-year-old Legacy Sports client will provide the Brewers with another option in the outfield and at first base. 

Kotsay hit .239/.306/.376 in 359 plate appearances for the White Sox last year. The left-handed hitter clubbed eight homers while playing first base and right field. 

Between Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Chris Dickerson, Jeremy Reed, Brandon Boggs, Caleb Gindl and Logan Schafer, the Brewers have lots of outfield options. Jim Edmonds, Casey McGehee and George Kottaras backed up Prince Fielder at first last year, but none of them have as much experience at the position as Kotsay and Edmonds appears to be close to retiring.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the deal (on Twitter).