Kotsay officially signed!
Quietly, we are putting together quite the team for the 2009 season. We may not have made a big-name signing, but our bench and bullpen are looking stronger than they have in years (if you ask me, and yes – obviously I’m a bit biased).
But really, there is some huge possible upside to all the signings this year. Add Mark Kotsay to that list. He came up big for us at the end of the year last year and hopefully he’ll continue to add that stability to our bench. And without further ado…here’s the official release!
RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT OUTFIELDER MARK KOTSAY TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent outfielder Mark Kotsay to a one-year contract for the 2009 season. No further terms were disclosed.
To make room for Kotsay on Boston’s 40-man roster, righthanded pitcher David Aardsma was designated for assignment.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Kotsay, 33, split the 2008 season between the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox following an August 27 trade for outfielder Luis Sumoza. He combined to hit .276 with 45 runs, 111 hits, 25 doubles, six homers, 49 RBI and 32 walks, his highest marks in all of those categories since 2006.
He batted .289 with six home runs and 37 RBI in 88 games for Atlanta and became the fifth Braves player since 1900 to hit for the cycle on August 14 against the Cubs, collecting the 1,500th hit of his career in that same contest. With the Red Sox, the lefthanded hitter posted a .226 batting average and 12 RBI in 22 games. Kotsay appeared in 10 of Boston’s 11 post-season contests in 2008, going 10-for-40 (.250) with two runs, including the game-tying score in the club’s historic come-from-behind victory in Game 5 of the ALCS against Tampa Bay.
In the field, Kotsay made just one error in 240 total chances, combining to make starts in centerfield (80), right field (18), and first base (4), his only experience at the position since 2006. His last miscue in the outfield came on July 30, 2007, a span of 112 games and 228 total chances. He ranks second in the majors since the start of the 1998 campaign with 113 outfield assists, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero (115) in that time.
Overall, he has a .281 career batting average, 109 home runs and 609 RBI in 1,450 total games with the Marlins (1997-2000), Padres (2001-03), Athletics (2004-07), Braves (2008) and Red Sox (2008).
Kotsay was originally selected by the Marlins as the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft. He received the 1996 Golden Spikes Award and was named the 1995 National Player of the Year after leading Cal-State Fullerton to a College World Series title.
RED SOX SEND OUTFIELDER MICKEY HALL TO CLEVELAND TO COMPLETE BYRD DEAL: The Red Sox today sent outfielder Mickey Hall to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade that brought righthanded pitcher Paul Byrd to Boston on August 12, 2008
Hall spent the majority of 2008 with Double-A Portland but began the season in Single-A Lancaster, combining to bat .230 with 37 RBI and a career-high 14 home runs over 94 games. He tied with outfielder Bubba Bell for the Sea Dogs team lead with 13 round trippers.
The lefthanded batter was selected by Boston in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and hit .239 with 47 homers and 222 RBI in 538 games over six seasons in the Red Sox organization.