"I know this is a good time physically and mentally for me to retire . . . these are my last games as a player," Kotsay said.
Kotsay, 37, began his career in 1997 with the then-Florida Marlins. Since his first call-up, he has played in over 1900 career games and hit .276/.332/.405 with 127 home runs, 720 RBI, and 353 doubles. Kotsay has spent the last two seasons with the Padres, the team he also played for from 2001-2003.
A herniated disc in his back suffered in 2003 caused Kotsay a series of pains throughout his career, requiring several epidural injections and, eventually, two surgeries. He did not have the first surgery until spring training of 2007, and played in just 233 games the three following years.
"The back definitely caused an interruption at the peak years of my career," he told the Union-Tribune. "The second surgery took away my ability to play every day. After that, I was done being an every-day center fielder or outfielder."
Kotsay had his best season in 2004, his first with the Oakland Athletics. In 148 games that year, he hit .314/.370/.459 and clubbed 15 homers. He finished 14th in the American League MVP race that year.