Mark Kotsay Returns To San Diego Padres On One-Year Contract

ST LOUIS, MO: Mark Kotsay #25 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds third base on his solo home run in the top of the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The San Diego Padres have signed ex-Padres outfielder Mark Kotsay to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. He will serve as a backup, and this is very unexciting.

Look, let's just get this out in the open - you're the one who clicked on this article. You're the one who knowingly clicked on a link that would take you to a newsy piece about Mark Kotsay signing with the Padres. There's no room for you to complain about insignificance, because if you thought this was too insignificant, you wouldn't be looking at it. Either you're punishing yourself for no reason, or you're legitimately interested in Mark Kotsay signing with the Padres. Which are the same thing. Wicked burn!

The only reason I'm even writing anything about this move at all is because, earlier this morning, I read this article, from Fox Sports:

Regardless of what happens with Bell, the PADRES want to trade either shortstop Jason Bartlett or second baseman Orlando Hudson, major league sources say.

The Padres reportedly want to move Bartlett or Hudson to clear some payroll, as both infielders are under contract for $5.5 million next season. That's not a huge amount of money, but it's relatively huge to the Padres, so, okay, it makes sense that they'd like to shed some salary.

But then, from Ken Rosenthal, a short time ago:

Sources: Kotsay in agreement with #Padres on one-year, $1.25M contract. Pending physical.

I don't know how to reconcile these two things. The Padres are a small-budget operation, to the extent that they're supposedly looking to move one of their two starting middle infielders. They're also an operation that just committed seven figures to a 35-year-old backup outfielder.

Which isn't to suggest that Mark Kotsay is bad. Mark Kotsay is not bad, for what he is. Over the last three years, he's hit .258 with an 86 OPS+ while playing first base and all three outfield positions, which is okay for a bench player. He also played for the Padres between 2001-2003, so he brings some kind of familiarity. On its own, the notion of giving Mark Kotsay $1.25 million as a free agent is not ridiculous.

It's just ... weird, that this is the Padres doing this. The Padres worry about every dollar they have, or at least they ought to. They couldn't find a fourth outfielder for the league minimum, or something closer to it? There's nothing in their system? None of the minor league free agents are appealing? None of the other major league free agents are appealing? It's not like the Padres are going to win next season anyway. Why make this move, for this price, now?

I guess it doesn't matter that much. And Kotsay's an okay player. So, okay. Now I'll leave you with a much more interesting story about a National League fourth outfielder.

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